Cong never used services of Cambridge Analytica: Surjewala

ANI | Updated: Mar 21, 2018 18:28 IST

New Delhi [India] March 21 (ANI): Congress never used services of Cambridge Analytica, said party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Wednesday.

Cambridge Analytica, the political data firm with ties to United States President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, on Tuesday, amid a furore over the access it gained to private information of more than 50 million Facebook users. The firm is accused of influence elections by using stolen data.

The Congress' clarification came after Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the grand-old party of availing services of Cambridge Analytica.

Addressing a press conference here, Surjewala said, "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."

Terming Ravi Shankar Prasad as a 'lawless' Law Minister, Surjewala said, "BJP's factory of fake news has produced one more fake product today. It appears fake statements, fake press conferences, and fake agendas have become everyday character of BJP and its 'Lawless' Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad."

The Congress spokesperson also said that in fact BJP and its ally Janata Dal (United), JD (U) used Cambridge Analytica's services in 2010.

"Cambridge Analytica's linked website shows that in 2010 its services were used by BJP-JD (U). Firm's Indian partner Oveleno Business Intelligence (OBI) is being run by the son of a Member of Parliament, whose party is an ally of the BJP," Surjewala said.

He also asserted that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh availed services of the OBI in 2009.

Earlier in the day, Union Law Minister Prasad alleged that the Congress Party has links with Cambridge Analytica.

Prasad questioned: "Will Congress Party depend on data theft and manipulation to win elections? What is the role of Cambridge Analytica in social media profile of Rahul Gandhi?"

He also warned Facebook of 'strong action' if any attempt is made to meddle in India's electoral process. (ANI)