Congress president Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the government on Thursday, accusing it of fabricating his party’s link to a British data firm to divert attention from the death of 39 Indians in Iraq.
On Wednesday, Union Minister for Information and Techonology Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged congress engaging on political consultancy Cambridge Analytica (CA) for 2019 Lok Sabha election. "We support press freedom but don't like misuse of social media in the electoral process. As IT and law minister, I have to make it clear," he said.
The British firm is accused of illegally harvesting personal data of more than 50 million Facebook users to sway elections, including that of US President Donald Trump in 2016.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, however, denied that the party had used the services of Cambridge Analytica. and alleged only BJP has taken services of Cambridge Analytica.
Then come NDTV's Sreenivasan Jain has displayed proofs in his twitter page and said " Here are screenshots of LinkedIn page of Director of Cambridge Analytica's Indian arm, saying "managed 4 elections successfully for BJP", "helped achieve mission 272".
Both the Congress and the BJP may have been clients of the Indian affiliate of the disgraced London-based data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, electronic records and documents accessed by NDTV reveal.
These findings run contrary to the assertions of both congress and BJP claims NDTV in its report.
But the website of the Indian affiliate of Cambridge Analytica, Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI), mentions the BJP, Congress and the Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar as clients.
Ovleno is run by the Amrish Tyagi, the son of Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi. Ovleno describes itself as part of a joint venture between SCI India and SCL Group, London. SCL Group is the parent firm of Cambridge Analytica.
Ovleno's website has since been suspended.
Congress now has accused the government of delaying the announcement of death of the Indian workers who were kidnapped in Mosul four years ago and giving false hope to the families.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had told Parliament on Tuesday that the 39 Indians who were kidnapped by Islamic State in June 2014 in Mosul in northern Iraq were dead. They were gunned down by the IS and their bodies were found in a mass grave in Badush, which is around 50km from Mosul.
The Congress also said it was unpardonable and insensitive that the government announced the deaths in Parliament without informing the families first. The government has said it was following protocol.
“Problem: 39 Indians dead; Govt on the mat, caught lying. Solution: Invent story on Congress & Data Theft,” Gandhi tweeted, adding media was debating the CA story and 39 dead Indians were off the radar.