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Political slugfest breaks out over data theft charge

Political slugfest breaks out over data theft charge

Hyderabad/Amaravati: A political row broke out over alleged data theft of Andhra Pradesh voters by an IT firm in Hyderabad with the ruling TDP on Monday alleging a cyber conspiracy and seeking transfer of the case registered by the Telangana police to the neighbouring state.

As Telangana police citing preliminary probe claimed the IT company got 'illegal' access to details of voters, TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu alleged it was part of a conspiracy to help opposition YSR Congress headed by Jaganmohan Reddy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and KCR (Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao were helping Jaganmohan Reddy in executing this 'cyber conspiracy', he alleged in his teleconference with TDP party leaders.

"It is atrocious to steal our data and give it to our rivals," he said.

Naidu alleged "The Bihari gang led by (political strategist and JDU leader) Prashant Kishore is giving such evil advise to the YSRC."

Separately, TDP politburo member Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy and general secretary Varla Ramaia demanded the case registered by Cyberabad police be transferred to AP as per the CrPC since the alleged theft happened in the state.

The YSRC, however, questioned how confidential data related to the state government went into private hands.

"Why is Chandrababu so scared of the investigation? The data theft is part of a plan to remove names of those against the government from the electors list," YSRC leader and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Buggana Rajendranath Reddy alleged.

The case against the firm was registered on Saturday on a complaint from a data analyst alleging that TDP cadre were using certain mobile phone and tab-based applications especially "Seva Mitra" app for "advancing their party's electoral prospects.

It drew protests from Andhra Pradesh ministers and TDP legislators Sunday with IT Minister N Lokesh in a tweet alleging that Telangana police was harassing the IT firms that have been hired to curate information whose complete rights were held by the TDP. Hitting back, TRS working president K T Rama Rao Monday asked why the TDP was afraid of a probe if it had not done anything wrong.

Naidu should be "ashamed of" his party's criticism of the Telangana government, Rao said and dared him to face the probe."If you have not done the theft, Chandrababu Naidu ji...why should you fear?" he asked.

"It is the TDP which committed the wrong. The (AP) government which is supposed to keep personal data a secret, gives that data to a party, how should it be seen," he told reporters in Hyderabad.

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