Reiterating its allegations of Congress’s links to political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA), the BJP on Thursday claimed that the firm was involved in Rahul Gandhi’s social media campaign and there had been meetings too in this regard.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also questioned the silence of the Congress President for more than five months over media reports that claimed his party had roped in CA as ‘Brahmashtra’ to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019.
“The report in this regard was first published on October 9, 2017 and the party maintained silence until I raised the issue on Wednesday. They denied the allegations when they found themselves in trouble after the issue was brought to the fore,” Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press conference.
The minister, accepting full responsibility, said that CA had been managing the social media campaign for Rahul Gandhi and there had been meetings also in this connection.
“The Congress cannot run away from this fact. If the Congress maintains a conspicuous silence on such an important news of the involvement of a dubious social media company and does not counter it, then I am sorry. They don’t have any right to run the country,” he said.
The Congress on Wednesday denied links to CA that has been accused of stealing data to allegedly influence the electoral process.
Prasad also claimed that that the Congress took services of CA in Gujarat Assembly polls.
“They used CA in Gujarat and it was clear from the Congress’s pattern of contesting the election,” he said.
He also refuted Gandhi’s allegation that by raking up CA issue, Modi government was trying to divert public attention from its “lie about the fate of 39 Indians killed in Iraq”.
“We expect that Rahul Gandhi would not indulge in politics over deaths. He should respond to the allegations which are of serious nature,” he said.
Gandhi’s remarks came a day after Information and Technology Minister accused the Congress of compromising national security by roping in Cambridge Analytica to run its 2019 election campaign.
He 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 the analytics firm was accused of using bribes and sex workers to entrap politicians and stealing data from Facebook.