New Delhi: Hours after the Congress’s Manish Tewari said the Election Commission should investigate which party had or has links with disgraced firm Cambridge Analytica, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that the Congress has links with the data analytics firm.
Cambridge Analytica (CA) has been in the eye of the storm following an investigation by Britain’s Channel 4 which alleged that the company harvested private data of Facebook users in 2014.
The BJP’s Prasad alleged that the Congress party committed data theft and manipulated data to win elections. He questioned the role of CA in the social media management of Congress and party president Rahul Gandhi.
Much before that though, Tewari tweeted saying the Election Commission “should enquire/recommend (an) investigation (into) what services & to whom they were offering” these services in India.
After Prasad’s allegation, the Congress party’s social media head Divya Spandana also refuted Prasad’s charge. “News about Congress engaged/engaging with Cambridge Analytica is absolutely false,” she tweeted.
Spandana further said the BJP is trying to distract from the controversy over the killing of 39 Indian hostages by ISIS in Iraq.
“Can you @rsprasad please tell us why your Govt lied to us about the 39 Indians who died in Iraq? You hid the information and now you’re trying to divert attention from the issue by making outrageous allegations against the Congress party.,” she further tweeted.
Prasad accused the Congress party of sharing the private data of Indian citizens with CA. “Will the Congress Party now depend upon data manipulation and data theft to win elections?” he asked.
“This is not just a question of Congress Party’s association with a rogue data analysis firm but it is a question of free and fair elections in India and democratic values of our country,” he added.
Prasad also said that though he is in favour of social media, however, its misuse will not be tolerated, especially by foreign firms.
The company, which is known for playing a pivotal role in managing the 2016 presidential campaign of US President Donald Trump, is now facing a government search of its London office, questions from US state authorities, and a demand by Facebook that it submit to a forensic audit.