Rahul Gandhi's Congress campaign taking a leaf out of Trump's US prez bid?

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi. Photo: @OfficeOfRG Twitter handle
The Congress party has already started preparing for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. And, it seems to be planning to make use of big data this time, suggest reports. The Opposition party is said to be in talks with big data firm Cambridge Analytica, which earlier helped United States President Donald Trump win elections through a targeted communication campaign.

According to Moneycontrol, the company has etched a data-driven strategy to target voters on social media, analysing online user behaviour and different citizen databases.

Cambridge Analytica has suggested the momentum for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls should be built with Assembly elections in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It has also proposed building a mobile app to analyse the performance of party candidates and draw a parallel with the opponents. 

While the company is reported to have said an Indian Opposition party has contacted, it declined to identify the party. Reportedly, they made a presentation in August.

The BJP also hired a data analytics company during its 2014 general elections campaign to expand its voter base. 

In case the Congress ropes in Cambridge Analytica for its campaign, it will be a first for an Indian party to hire a foreign entity to manage elections. 

Interestingly, Cambridge Analytica is known for being backed by right-wing billionaire Robert Mercer and generally backs right-wing movements and parties.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel