Congress president Rahul Gandhi has accused the government of “inventing” the story of the alleged involvement of the Congress party in the Facebook data theft scandal. According to the Congress chief, the story of “Congress & data theft” was brought to the fore to divert the attention from the issue of death of 39 Indians in Mosul in Iraq.
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, Rahul alleged that media networks bit the “bait”, making issue of death of 39 Indians in Iraq “vanish from radar”. He said that the Narendra Modi government was “caught lying” on the issue.
Problem: 39 Indians dead; Govt on the mat, caught lying.
Solution: Invent story on Congress & Data Theft.
Result: Media networks bite bait; 39 Indians vanish from radar.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 22, 2018
The government had on Wednesday targeted the Gandhi scion and the Congress party over Facebook data theft involving British consulting company Cambridge Analytica. Addressing a press conference, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad had asked if the Congress party would “depend on data theft and manipulation to win elections?” He had further asked, “What is the role of Cambridge Analytica in social media profile of Rahul Gandhi?”
The minister further pointed to earlier reports of bots allegedly being used to artificially increase Rahul Gandhi’s social media following, asking “how much data of Indians have the Congress party shared with foreign firms like Cambridge Analytica”.
Hitting back at the government, the Congress denied any link with the data theft. Head of Congress social media wing Divya Spandana (Ramya) had tweeted, "News about Congress engaged/engaging with Cambridge Analytica is absolutely false."
She had also accused the government of diverting attention from the 39 Indians who died in Iraq. "Can you please tell us why your government lied to us about the 39 Indians who died in Iraq? You hid the information and now you’re trying to divert attention from the issue by making outrageous allegations against the Congress party," Divya asked Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Later, Congress spokesperson Randeep 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."