New Delhi: The BJP and the Congress on Wednesday traded charges over a Facebook data scandal involving private firm Cambridge Analytica.
While the ruling party accused its rival of "data theft" to woo voters ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress hit back alleging that the "BJP's factory of fake news has produced one more fake product".
Following are the top developments:
- The trading of charges between the two parties came following the Facebook's admission last week that Cambridge Analytica used data that had been collected from 50 million users without their consent, an act of breach of privacy.
- BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, also the Union law and information technology minister, cited several media reports which said the company would work for Congress chief Rahul Gandhi ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls and asked how many times Gandhi had met Cambridge's now sacked CEO Alexander Nix.
- Claiming that the illegal use of people's data from social media could turn out to be the Congress' "biggest scam", BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the government would launch a probe into the matter.
- "Stealing data from social media is your (Congress) weapon. Cambridge Analytica is now Congress Analytica," Patra alleged.
- Rejecting the allegations categorically, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said neither his party nor its president has used and hired the services of Cambridge Analytica.
- "The BJP's factory of fake news has produced one more fake product today. It appears that fake press conferences, fake agendas and fake spins and fake statements have become the everyday character of the BJP and its 'lawless' Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad," he told reporters, as per PTI.
- He claimed that Cambridge's local partner OBI talked of having achieved 'target 272+' (in 2014), providing a constituency-wise database to BJP candidates and of extending support to it in national elections and state polls in Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Delhi.
- Refuting the Congress' allegations that it was the BJP which had hired the firm during previous elections, Patra said over 1000 websites and 10,000 individuals have claimed to have a role in the party's win in 2014 polls. "We have nothing to hide," he said.
(With Agency inputs)