Congress lying about Cambridge Analytica: Shehzad Poonawala

ANI | Updated: Mar 21, 2018 21:13 IST

New Delhi [India] March 21 (ANI): Rebel Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla on Wednesday said that the Congress party was lying about its links with Cambridge Analytica.

His statement came after Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Congress never used services of Cambridge Analytica, which is accused of stealing data of Facebook users to influence elections.

Talking to ANI, Poonawala said, "Mr. Surjewala has said that Congress has no relation with Cambridge Analytica and its Indian partner, Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI). This is the firm which is now in question for allegedly manipulating Facebook and taking data without authorisation. His (Surjewala's) claim is absolutely false."

He also said that there is concrete proof that Amrish Tyagi of Ovleno was in touch with Rahul Gandhi and team.

"There was nothing till now, but today when Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has raised the point, some kind of white washing is being attempted," Poonawala said.

Earlier in the day, Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that the Congress Party has links with Cambridge Analytica.

He 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.

Poonawala also said that there have been reports in reputed newspapers since 2017 that the Cambridge Analytica was in touch with the Congress.

"From 2017 onwards, there have been multiple reports by credible newspapers that have said two things: the Congress has hired Cambridge Analytica for upcoming elections, and CEO of Ovleno has given presentation to the leaders of United Progressive Alliance (UPA)," Poonawala said.

He questioned, Why did not Surjewala deny Congress' links with Cambridge Analytica when these reports emerged?

Poonawala also said even the CEO of Ovleno was in touch with him in 2011-12 to get some kind of work done through Congress.

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. (ANI)