Cambridge Analytica row: Patra says BJP has nothing to hide

New Delhi [India]: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has nothing to hide regarding Cambridge Analytica, said party spokesperson Sambit Patra on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference here, Patra addressed the allegations of BJP colluding with a data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica during the 2014 elections on Wednesday.

“BJP has nothing to hide. Let me say that as far as 2014 BJP campaign is concerned; 1,000 websites and 10,000 individuals had sought credit for the same and we have seen the named company has downed its website after the allegations that it was carrying the name of BJP,” Patra said.

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.

BJP and Congress have accused each other of using services of Cambridge Analytica to illegally mining private data of Facebook users.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law Minister Ravi Shankar 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.

Responding to Prasad’s allegation, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said his party never used 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 an everyday character of BJP and its ‘Lawless’ Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.”

However, rebel Congress leader Shehzad Poonawalla said that the Congress party was lying about its links with Cambridge Analytica.

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). His (Surjewala’s) claim is absolutely false.”

He also said that there is concrete proof that Amrish Tyagi of Ovleno was in touch with Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his team. (ANI)