Cambridge Analytica Behind Rahul Gandhi's 'Gabbar Singh Tax' Jibe, Minister Implies

The Congress and the BJP have traded charges after the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica emerged.

Rahul Gandhi earlier accused the centre of inventing Congress role in data row. (File)

Highlights

  • Congress, BJP trade charges over Cambridge Analytica row
  • UK firm Cambridge Analytica could have links to elections in India
  • The firm managed Rahul Gandhi's social media campaign, government alleges
New Delhi: The Congress used disgraced firm Cambridge Analytica in the Gujarat election and also took its help to come up with its viral catch-phrases "Gabbar Singh Tax" and "Vikas Gone Crazy", the government implied today after Rahul Gandhi tweeted that allegations had been "invented" to deflect attention from a controversy over 39 Indians killed in Iraq.

"Rahul Gandhi's entire social media campaign has been managed with the help of Cambridge Analytica and they have had meetings also," Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged.

"This company is known for aggressive, fake news, below standard campaign. Do I need to record before you the language of Rahul Gandhi, Gabbar Singh Tax and the whole social media campaign?"


Rahul Gandhi this morning tweeted:
The Congress and the BJP have traded charges after it emerged that the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica - a London-based data firm accused of accessing data of millions of Facebook users to help elect US President Donald Trump in 2016 - could have links to elections in India.

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The website of the Indian affiliate of Cambridge Analytica, Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI), however, mentions the BJP, Congress and the Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar as clients. Cambridge Analytica's website says the company provided its services during the Bihar election in 2010 to a political party in India.

Mr Prasad said: "We checked and it is untrue we used (the firm). If someone bragged on Facebook then Facebook or that website should check the veracity."

A day before the data breach controversy exploded, the Congress had slammed into the government over the statement that 39 Indians captured by the ISIS in Iraq's Mosul in 2014 were dead. Sushma Swaraj said in parliament that DNA tests confirmed the Indian workers had been shot dead.

In July last year, Sushma Swaraj had said that unless evidence suggested otherwise, the Indians would be presumed alive and safe. The government had also assured the families of the workers that they were safe.

"It is very sad that Rahul Gandhi is politicking on this. Sushma Swaraj was speaking with such pain but his MPs stopped her from speaking," Mr Prasad said.