Ex-Congressman Shehzad Poonawalla has now come out with the alleged pitch made by Cambridge Analytica to the Indian National Congress (INC) to influence the outcome of Indian elections.
— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) April 17, 2018
The 49 page document contains a detailed online plan for 2019 general elections. The 49 page document is allegedly titled as – “Data Driven Campaign: The path to the 2019 Loksabha”.
This particular document is allegedly used for pitching to the Congress leadership. Cambridge Analytica is the same company which is responsible for illegally mining data from facebook to micro target people with political ad campaigns during the 2016 U.S election cycle which saw Donald trump emerging victorious.
The Indian National Congress previously had denied having any association with Cambridge Analytica or any of its Indian subsidiaries but this pitch exposes the lies of the Congress. The document, allegedly prepared by the erstwhile CEO Alexander Nix, also consists of election campaigns for Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh elections. There is also a mention of creating a National Data Infrastructure Project with an operations centre with the objective of being the nerve centre for the campaign co-ordination and planning.
The cost, as provided in the document, is around 3,89,460 dollars but according to Poonawalla – ” the deal varies between 200 to 500 crores of rupees, on paper, however it is undervalued, the real value of the deal could not be estimated”.
When asked, the INC official spokesperson refused to acknowledge the existence of such deal between Congress and CA.
The deal also promised data mining and interpreting and also micro targeting and audience segmenting for INC. The CA proposal stated – ” Every time somebody signs up on the Indian National Congress website or speaks to a local activist, their details will automatically be recorded in the database and can be used to target mobile and web advertising,”
Though, INC has denied any involvement whatsoever, one cannot help but notice the change Congress social media presence have gone through over a very short period of time. Even Rahul Gandhi’s twitter handle have changed drastically. Poonawalla stated the same –
I reiterate, the Congress party has never engaged with Cambridge Analytica, nationally or regionally.
— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) March 27, 2018
“the presentation was made by Alexander Nix himself before Rahul Gandhi and one could see the remarkable difference in the social media strategy and campaign of Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party which was very dry until then, everyone could see the sudden spurt in Congress social media presence once Cambridge Analytica got a go ahead from Congress Party”.
With the INC logo being present in CA’s office and this outing of alleged proposal, the congress is in a very tough spot. This brand of social engineering manipulates the voter and puts their personal data at risk. The Congress has a lot to answer for in the coming days.