BJP 'invents' data theft to divert attention: Rahul

New Delhi, DHNS: Rahul Gandhi on Thursday hit out at the Modi government for "inventing" a story on data theft by the Congress to divert attention from the death of 39 Indians in Iraq.

"Problem: 39 Indians dead; Government on the mat, caught lying. Solution: Invent story on Congress and Data Theft. Result: Media networks bite bait; 39 Indians vanish from radar. Problem solved," Gandhi, the Congress president tweeted.

The Congress also launched an acerbic attack on the Modi government dubbing Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad the 'minister of lies' and likening him to Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Hitler.

"Hitler had an associate called Goebbels, Modiji has an associate called Ravi Shankar Prasad. The BJP government has become a manufacturer of fake news. The biggest data thieves are those making the most noise," Randeep Singh Surjewala, the chief spokesperson of the Congress, told a press conference here.

He reiterated that it was the BJP that had utilised the services of disgraced data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) for elections in Bihar, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Delhi.

Key Congress strategist Sam Pitroda called the BJP's allegations "utter rubbish" and "pure lies" and asserted that there were several data analysts of international repute in India who would do the same services as CA at a much lower cost.

"I know that Cambridge Analytica has nothing unique to offer us that people like me do not know or cannot learn. We are capable of doing these things on our own and do not need expensive foreign experts to teach us to execute," Pitroda, the chairman of the Overseas Congress, said.

Surjewala also accused the BJP of levelling allegations against the Congress on the CA issue as a "diversionary tactics" as the government was facing the heat over the handling of the deaths of 39 Indian nationals in Iraq.

The Congress has been accusing the government of managing headlines to deflect the country's focus from the multi-crore PNB bank scam, the dilution of provisions of the SC/ST Atrocities Act and questions being raised by the families of those killed in Iraq.

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