'Indian media spreading lies'
New Delhi: Amid the BJP and Congress battling it out over who used British firm Cambridge Analytica, Sam Pitroda on Thursday said that the party never used services of a data mining firm, and accused media of spreading lies and misguiding people.
Union Minister and party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday cited media reports about the opposition party's plan to use the firm's services for the next Lok Sabha elections and to boost its president Rahul Gandhi's profile.
The Congress, however, denied the charge and instead, accused the ruling party of using the services of the controversial firm. The BJP also rejected the allegation.
Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm, is accused of harvesting personal information from Facebook illegally to influence polls in several countries.
Reacting to the developments in the Indian media, All India Congress Committee (AICC) Overseas cell head and technocrat Sam Pitroda said all those in the media who say that Congress has used, and paid Cambridge Analytica ought to own up to spreading lies of the first order.
"I have been silently watching lies being spread on Indian Media, at a time to sensationalize news and misguide people on a variety of issues. Some of these lies have resulted in unnecessary court cases and damaged our relationships and our thriving democracy," Pitroda said in a series of tweets. Pitroda also sad that he feels that the media may be crossing limits to spread lies like wildfire on television and social media with shouting matches and useless debates.
"The recent lie is about @INCIndia party using Cambridge Analytica and associated misuse of data and leaks. This news is utterly rubbish, it is simply a big lie and ought to stop with an apology. I know for sure, that @INCIndia party has never used services of Cambridge Analytica at the center and/or state level in the past. All those in the media who say that @INCIndia has used, and paid Cambridge Analytica ought to own up to spreading lies of the first order," he added.
Further stating that he was intimately involved in digital initiatives in the party directly and/or indirectly, Pitroda said, "I can say with authority and to the best of my knowledge that the news about the use of Cambridge Analytics by @INCIndia party is a pure lie. I have spent over 50 years in
Telecom and IT business and know enough about Big Data, analytics, cloud computing, machine learning and other related technologies."