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Chandrababu Naidu should be "ashamed": TRS on voters' data 'theft'

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Hyderabad, Mar 4: Attacking the ruling TDP on the alleged theft of voters' data in Andhra Pradesh, TRS working president K T Rama Rao on Monday said Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu should be "ashamed of" his party's criticism of the Telangana government on the issue.

File photo of TRS working president K T Rama Rao

The issue pertains to a case registered by the Telangana police against a city-based IT firm for allegedly "stealing" data of voters through the "Seva Mitra" mobile application, which was used by the TDP in Andhra Pradesh. Reacting to the development, Andhra Pradesh Information Technology Minister N Lokesh had said Telangana Police was "harassing" the companies that were hired to curate the information whose complete rights were held by the TDP.

"It is TDP which committed the wrong. The government (AP) which is supposed to keep personal data secret, gives that data to a party, how should it be seen," Rama Rao told reporters here.

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"What was done was wrong. As if, 'ulta chor kotwal ko dante' (the pot calling the kettle black), they (TDP) are slamming the Telangana government. Chandrababu Naidu and his government should have shame," he said. Rama Rao said the people of Andhra Pradesh should think about keeping confidence in a party whose government had allegedly gave away their data without consent.

"Why should the TDP government have fear to face probe if it has done no wrong," he said. The Telangana police only acted on a complaint without any bias and "there is nothing the Telangana government did", he said.

The TDP was trying to "get back its lost prestige" among people by making a "cheap attempt" to attack the TRS government in Telangana, he alleged. There is nothing Naidu has to show on the development front during his tenure, he claimed. Referring to media reports that Andhra Pradesh police had gone to the residence of the "whistle-blower" on the issue, Rama Rao asked what work does AP police have in Hyderabad.

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"Chandrababu Naidu is trying to evoke emotions. He is trying to provoke passions among people. Unfortunately, he will not succeed...Because, people have seen through the designs of Chandrababu Naidu," Rama Rao said. Based on a complaint from a data analyst, a case was registered against the firm on Saturday, under relevant sections of the IPC and the IT Act, police said.

The complainant alleged that after logging into the official Facebook page of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), he found party cadres using certain mobile phone and tab-based software applications, especially 'Seva Mitra' app, for "advancing the party's electoral prospects".

The Andhra Pradesh government utilised the services of the firm in implementation of government schemes, he said in the complaint. He alleged that the firm was given access to enormous amount of official data with respect to the beneficiaries of various government schemes and also private data of individuals, including their Aadhaar numbers.

TDP ministers and legislators in Andhra Pradesh took turns Sunday to cry foul over the case and blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and YSRC president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for hatching a "joint political conspiracy" against Chandrababu Naidu.

The TDP has alleged that the TRS government was "robbing" its data to help the YSR Congress party, on whose original complaint police had registered the case. The TRS and TDP have often been engaged in war of words, especially since the latter contested the Assembly elections in Telanagna in alliance with Congress and others.


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