Facebook announced that their South Asia public policy director Ankhi Das resigned from her post on Tuesday in the aftermath of a controversy she found herself in. She was accused of being partisan and was acting in a political way, heavily inclined towards the ruling BJP.
Insiders in the company blamed Das for thwarting action against a Telangana BJP leader for his Islamophobic comments. She also headed Facebook’s public policy team in India.
“I have decided to step down from Facebook after long service to its mission of connecting people and building communities to pursue my interest in public service,” Das said in a Facebook post.
However, her resignation seemed to be independent of the controversy, in which Facebook has denied any wrongdoing.
The social media company accepted her resignation and released a statement announcing the news while also acknowledging her immense contribution during her tenure.
“Ankhi has decided to step down from her role on Facebook to pursue her interest in public service. Ankhi was one of our earliest employees in India and played an instrumental role in the growth of the company and its services over the last 9 years,” said Ajit Mohan, Facebook India’s vice president, and managing director.
“She has been a part of my leadership team over the last 2 years, a role in which she has made enormous contributions. We are grateful for her service and wish her the very best for the future,” he added.
Ankhi will be succeeded by Shivnath Thukral who was the managing director of Carnegie India. He also oversees operations, including coordination with Carnegie’s global network and fundraising. The row involving Das and Facebook started after an August 14 report in the Wall Street Journal.
The report alleged that Das intervened to stop Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh from being banned from the social media site over possible fallout for the company’s business interests in India.
According to another report by WSJ on August 30, Das had previously disclosed her working with PM Modi and had claimed to have “lit a fire to his social media campaign” before he swept to power in 2014. Barely weeks after these reports, Singh was permanently banned from Facebook.