The blame game over the Facebook data escalated to a different level altogether with the Congress now claiming that it was the BJP and JD (U) which had used the Cambridge Analytica's services. Cambridge Analytica has been accused of having accessed the data of over 50 million users of the Facebook without their permission.
Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier today hinted at the link between the Cambridge Analytica and the Congress party. The Congress has denied the allegation.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala dubbed the BJP as the "factory of fake news", and called Ravi Shankar Prasad as a "Lawless Law Minister."
"It appears fake statements, fake press conferences and fake agendas have become everyday character of BJP and its 'Lawless' Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad..Indian National Congress or the Congress President has never used or never hired the services of a company called Cambridge Analytica. It is a fake agenda and white lie being dished out by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad," Surjewala said.
"Cambridge Analytica's linked website shows that in 2010 its services were used by BJP-JD(U). Firm's Indian partner Ovlene Business Intelligence (OBI) is being run by BJP ally's MP's son. OBI company's services were used by Rajnath Singh in 2009," he added.
What did Congress' head of Social Media said?
Earlier, Divya Spandana, the head of Congress Social Media and Digital Communication, hit back at BJP's claims.
"News about Congress engaged/engaging with Cambridge Analytica is absolutely false," Spandana wrote on her personal Twitter account.
Zuckerberg in trouble:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is yet to comment on the Cambridge Analytica issue. Zuckerberg's silence is hurting Facebook as it is fuelling more criticism from analysts and investors.
Zuckerberg was on March 20 summoned before a UK parliamentary committee amid a growing row over data breaches linked to the popular social media company. The summons letter to 33-year-old Zuckerberg was sent by Damian Collins, the chair of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee (DCMS), which is investigating the issue of fake news. The company, which counts India among a list of numerous countries where it has done election-related work, is in the eye of a storm after its senior executives were filmed by an undercover reporter giving examples of how the firm could discredit political rivals by arranging various smear campaigns.