New Delhi: Amidst the ongoing controversy over Cambridge Analytica’s association with Indian political parties, senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi's son and director of Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI), Amrish Tyagi on Thursday claimed that his company was never associated with the data-mining firm.
He asserted that any work of any nature (if any), undertaken by CA cannot be read against OBI.
Tyagi claimed that OBI came into existence in the year 2010 and that at the time of its incorporation neither of its directors had undertaken any work of political nature.
Immediately after controversy over Cambridge Analytica’s association with Indian political parties broke-out, Ovelina Business Intelligence website was pulled down.
Tyagi owned Ovelina Business Intelligence (OBI) was Cambridge Analytica’s associate in the country.
OBI in association with Cambridge Analytica parent company SCL Group had formed a company— SCL India—- to help its clients in the country in “election campaign management.”
The accused firm Cambridge Analytica in its website claims to have helped its client to win Bihar Assembly elections in 2010.
JD(U) and BJP alliance had won Bihar assembly election in 2010. OBI, before pulling down its website had claimed to have Congress, BJP and JD(U) among its clients.
The data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica is under investigation over allegations that it stole 50 million Facebook users data to help its clients around the world, to win elections including US president Donald Trump.
Tyagi had earlier said that his firm was very different “from what they do in the US” and the firm uses data which is available in the public domain. Tyagi said from election commission data one can find out about how a booth voted in the last 3-4 elections.
“Its not a rocket science. It is available for everyone,” he added.
Earlier last week, JD(U) leader KC Tyagi had also denied any financial links of his son Amrish’s company Ovleno Business Intelligence Pvt Ltd, with ‘dubious’ data firm, Cambridge Analytica.
“There was only a work relation between my son Amrish's company and Cambridge Analytics, there is no financial transaction or shareholding, everything is open to probe,” he said.
“JD(U) also has no links with this, neither did they promote us in 2010 polls,” he added.
He also denied JD(U)’s relation with Cambridge Analytics saying, “Neither has its CEO ever met Nitish ji nor me. In any case JD(U) is a socialist outfit and we stay away from such things, except for maybe Prashant Kishore ji helping us during last assembly polls.”
Cambridge Analytica (CA) was contracted to undertake an in-depth electorate analysis for the Bihar Assembly Election in 2010, its website said.
The core challenge was to identify the floating/swing voters for each of the parties and to measure their levels electoral apathy, a result of the poor and unchanging condition of the state after 15 years of incumbent rule, said Cambridge Analytica on its website.
It said that in addition to the research phase, CA were tasked to organise the party base at the village level by creating a communication hierarchy to increase supporter motivation. “Our client achieved a landslide victory, with over 90 per cent of total seats targeted by CA being won,” it added.
Former CA employee and whistleblower Christopher Wylie – who exposed Facebook’s data breach -- had on Wednesday tweeted on the association Indian politics had had with the company to get voter information and strategise poll campaigns around it.
In an attached document, Wylie had also shown that in the 2010 Bihar state election, the firm was asked to provide electoral research and strategy for the Janata Dal (United)....