Facebook data leak: Congress denies link, slams BJP for lying

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Facebook data leak: Congress denies link, slams BJP for lying
Facebook data leak: Congress denies link, slams BJP for lying

New Delhi : The Congress on Wednesday denied links to a political data analytics firm that has been accused of stealing data to allegedly influence the electoral process while accusing the BJP of having availed its services in 2010.

"The Congress or its President have never used or hired the services of Cambridge Analytica," said Congress communications incharge Randeep Singh Surjewala, hours after Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the party of compromising national security by roping in the firm to run its 2019 election campaign.

"This is fake agenda, a white lie being dished out on fake facts by the Law Minister. And this has become a daily order with Prasad," he said, alleging that it was actually the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally Janata Dal-United which used the services of Cambridge Analytica in 2010.

For this, he cited the firm, saying on its website, that it "was contracted to undertake an indepth electoral analysis for Bihar assembly elections in 2010".

"If the company does manipulation, why were the BJP and the JD-U using it. But in his pack of lies, he forgot to tell the truth," the Congress leader said, accusing the BJP of seeking to divert attention from urgent issues through "fake news".

"The BJP's factory of fake news has produced one more fake product today to divert attention of the people. When the country was asking questions about the 39 Indians killed in Iraq, to divert attention from the issues of Dalit and Adivasis, to divert the attention from Rahulji's visit to Karnataka, they came up with another lie.

The Congress also said that company's (Cambridge Analytica) India partner is Ovelina Business Intelligence, which is being run by the son of a JD-U MP, while the LinkedIn profile of Himanshu Sharma, who is the Vice President of OBI, lists achievements like achieving Mission 272+ for the BJP and elections in other states.

Surjewala also said that during Delhi Assembly election, the services of the company were used by the BJP and asked party chief Amit Shah to clarify on this issue.

The BJP alleged that the firm had been found involved in data manipulation and warned that any attempt to misuse social media to influence India's electoral process would not be tolerated. Prasad said that analytics firm is accused of using bribes and sex workers to entrap politicians and stealing data from Facebook.