BJP should take action on data theft instead of holding PCs: Singhvi

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi today said that the BJP should take action on its allegation that his party indulged in data theft to influence the outcome of elections, instead of holding press conferences.

Alleging that the BJP has dished out fake news for long, Singhvi said spreading of false information has been its forte.

"BJP is the party in power. Rather than holding press conferences, why doesn't it take action?" he said about Union Law and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's charge yesterday that the opposition party was using data manipulation and theft to woo voters.

"The BJP has misused the company many times and is now casting aspersions on us out of fear," he said.

"The BJP has been spreading false information since the days of Rajiv Gandhi ... Dishing out fake news is its forte," he added.

Any attempt by social media sites, including Facebook, to influence India's electoral process through undesirable means will not be tolerated, Prasad told reporters in Delhi yesterday.

Stating that party spokesman Randeep Surjewala has refuted the allegations of misuse of social media by the Congress, Singhvi alleged that it was the BJP which has misused the platform to spread canards against his party and its leaders.

"Paid garbage is posted by goons of the BJP," Singhvi alleged.

The BJP and the Congress yesterday traded charges over a Facebook data scandal involving private firm Cambridge Analytica, with the ruling party accusing its rival of "data theft" to woo voters ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, a claim the opposition party rejected.

Prasad had cited several media reports which said the company would work for Congress chief Rahul Gandhi ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls.

Cambridge Analytica is accused of illegally harvesting personal information from Facebook to influence polls in several countries.

The Congress also hit back alleging that the "BJP's factory of fake news has produced one more fake product", and accused it of hiring the firm's services in several elections, including in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)