Congress President Rahul Gandhi accused that the government invented the story on Congress and Cambridge Analytica to divert attention from the concerns raised on the death of 39 Indians in Iraq's Mosul. This was Gandhi's first reaction to the data leaks.
"Problem: 39 Indians dead; Govt on the mat, caught lying. Solution: Invent story on Congress & Data Theft. Result: Media networks bite bait; 39 Indians vanish from radar. Problem solved," Gandhi tweeted on Thursday.
Problem: 39 Indians dead; Govt on the mat, caught lying.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 22, 2018
Solution: Invent story on Congress & Data Theft.
Result: Media networks bite bait; 39 Indians vanish from radar.
Gandhi's tweet comes as a response to Union information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who yesterday claimed that the Congress had hired Cambridge Analytica for the 2019 Lok Sabha campaign.
The Indian footprint of controversial data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) that allegedly abused Facebook user data, on Thursday became a political football as both the BJP and the Congress traded charges over who used it to influence elections in India.
While the senior BJP leader accused the Congress of having "links" with the data analytics firm, the Congress claimed the BJP and JD(U) had used the services of Indian business partner of Cambridge Analytica - OBI (Ovelina Business Intelligence) - during the Delhi Assembly elections. It was further alleged that OBI was also involved in the party's Mission 272+ (BJP's slogan for the 2014 general election) as additional support in Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Delhi.
The website of Cambridge Analytica's India chapter (https://capolitical.com/casestudies/casestudyindia), however, claimed it had provided services for the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) in 2010.
Congress communications chief Randeep Singh Surjewala said: "Indian National Congress or the Congress president have 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 Prasad."
"Cambridge Analytica's linked website shows that in 2010 its services were used by the BJP-JD(U). The firm's Indian partner Ovlene Business Intelligence (OBI) is run by a BJP allied party MP's son. The OBI company's services were used by a senior BJP leader in 2009," Surjewala said.