Raheel Khursheed, a former journalist and online activist’s new job as head of Twitter India’s news, politics and government division has not been welcomed by many.

Not surprising. The 30-year-old’s acerbic tweets on India’s political heavyweights, including Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, and his Kashmiri identity have not earned him friends.

"Twitter has been successful in becoming global by being a neutral as well as open-ended platform of communication. I am afraid that this appointment will hamper that image in India," Arvind Gupta, head of information technology cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party told the tabloid, Mint.

On BJP Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Modi, Khursheed had tweeted: 'Modi is 70% Fascist.19.9% Market Capitalist.10% Democratic.0.1% Secular'.

His tweets on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi included a critique of his political career as hovering 'between the insipid and the uninspiring' and his recent Jaipur speech as 'laughable'.

Khursheed’s Twitter account has clocked 44,210 tweets and has 7,180 followers on the microblogging site where he’s been active since 2008.

A BJP support group has petitioned the online pressure group, change.org, to remove him from his new role at Twitter India, with over 2,000 supporters asking for Khursheed’s removal.

The petition, addressed to the CEO and the Board of Twitter Inc, accuses Khursheed of "displaying sheer contempt and hate" for Modi.

Khursheed's new job description says he will 'lead strategies that scale up Twitter's reach and impact with news, government and political users'.

Twitter and Indian politics

Given the nature of the social microblogging site where support and shaming with little or no censorship is allowed, Khursheed's recent past as an active Twitterati has had him firing his guns at the Indian political establishment.

Indian politicians and movie stars have begun to use Twitter as a platform to speak up.

Most political leaders have taken to Twitter, including the Prime Minister’s Office, Modi and senior ranking Congress and AAP leaders.

Statistics in the Mint, based on the Internet and Mobile Association of India and IMRB (Indian Market Research Bureau) say Twitter has more than 20 million users in India.

Whether Khursheed’s new job role will affect and halt his earlier frank-speak through his tweets is to be seen.

Even as his appointment has made it to reports in the media and online webzines, and congratulatory messages flooding his Facebook page, Khursheed has chosen to keep mum.

When contacted by Al Jazeera, Khursheed responded, "I have no comments to make."

Source: Al Jazeera