Political slugfest breaks out over data theft charge
March 05, 2019  00:17
A political row broke out over alleged data theft of Andhra Pradesh voters by an IT firm in Hyderabad with the ruling Telugu Desam Party on Monday alleging a cyber conspiracy and seeking transfer of the case registered by the Telangana police to the neighbouring state.

As Telangana police citing preliminary probe claimed the IT company got 'illegal' access to details of voters, TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu alleged it was part of a conspiracy to help opposition YSR Congress headed by Jaganmohan Reddy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and KCR (Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao were helping Jaganmohan Reddy in executing this 'cyber conspiracy', he alleged in his teleconference with TDP leaders.

"It is atrocious to steal our data and give it to our rivals," he said.

Naidu alleged, "The Bihari gang led by (political strategist and JD-U leader) Prashant Kishore is giving such evil advise to the YSRC."

The YSRC, however, questioned how confidential data related to the state government went into private hands.

"Why is Chandrababu so scared of the investigation? The data theft is part of a plan to remove names of those against the government from the electors list," YSRC leader and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Buggana Rajendranath Reddy alleged.

The case against the firm was registered on Saturday on a complaint from a data analyst alleging that TDP cadre were using certain mobile phone and tab-based applications especially 'Seva Mitra' app for 'advancing their party's electoral prospects'.

It drew protests from Andhra Pradesh ministers and TDP legislators on Sunday with IT Minister N Lokesh in a tweet alleging that Telangana police was harassing the IT firms that have been hired to curate information whose complete rights were held by the TDP.

Hitting back, Telangana Rashtra Samiti working president K T Rama Rao on Monday asked why the TDP was afraid of a probe if it had not done anything wrong.

Naidu should be 'ashamed of' his party's criticism of the Telangana government, Rao said and dared him to face the probe.

"If you have not done the theft, Chandrababu Naidu ji...why should you fear?" he asked.

"It is the TDP which committed the wrong. The (AP) government which is supposed to keep personal data a secret, gives that data to a party, how should it be seen," he told reporters in Hyderabad.

Rama Rao, son of Telangana CM, also alleged the TDP tried to defame the TRS government on social media through 'a paid campaign'.

Cyberabad Police Commissioner V C Sajjanar told reporters in Hyderabad that police have issued a notice to the Amazon Web Services, with which the database was said to have been stored, seeking the data.

'Prima facie, the investigation has revealed' that the company got access of personal information and sensitive dataof individuals related to Aadhaar, electoral roll, government schemes and voters information of various political parties 'which can be misused for illegal purposes like alleged deletion of voters', he said.  -- PTI
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