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Rahul Gandhi Calls PM Modi 'Big Boss' Who Spies, Smriti Irani Says Even 'Chhota Bheem' Knows Better

Rahul Gandhi said that PM Modi was misusing his position to build a personal database with the data of millions of Indians via the NaMoApp, hours after the after the Congress’ own official app, ‘With INC’, disappeared from the Google Play Store.

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Updated:March 26, 2018, 11:49 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi Calls PM Modi 'Big Boss' Who Spies, Smriti Irani Says Even 'Chhota Bheem' Knows Better
File photos of Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani.
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New Delhi: The war of words between the Congress and the BJP on misuse of user data escalated on Monday with Congress president Rahul Gandhi calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi the "Big Boss who likes to spy on Indians” and union minister Smriti Irani hitting back, saying even 'Chhota Bheem' knows all collection of data is not equal to snooping.

Gandhi said that PM Modi was misusing his position to build a personal database with the data of millions of Indians via the NaMoApp promoted by the government. His accusation came just hours after the Congress’ own official app, ‘With INC’, disappeared from the Google Play Store amid allegations that his party had shared user data with a Singapore-based firm.

"If as PM he wants to use tech to communicate with India, no problem. But use the official PMO APP for it. This data belongs to India, not Modi," tweeted Gandhi after anonymous hacker 'Elliot Alderson' alleged it was sharing personal data with a third party in the US without user consent.

He called PM Modi the "Big Boss who likes to spy on Indians", after the famous TV reality game show that records contestants round-the-clock. In a series of tweets hashtagged ‘Delete NaMo App’, he wrote it "secretly records audio, video, contacts of your friends and family and even tracks your location via GPS."

Irani took a swipe in return, asking Gandhi if his team had misunderstood his demand to get Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "NaMo" app deleted and instead removed "With INC" from the Google store.

"Ye kya Rahul Gandhi ji. It seems your team is doing the opposite of what you asked for. Instead of deleting NaMoApp, they have deleted the Congress App itself," Irani said, posting screen shots of the play store that shows the Congress app is not available anymore.

She also questioned Gandhi's understanding of technical matters. "RahulGandhi ji, even 'Chhota Bheem' knows that commonly asked permission on Apps don't tantamount to snooping," she said, referring to the animated television series for children.

She asked the Congress chief if he would care to answer "why Congress sends data to Singapore servers which can be accessed by any Tom, Dick and Analytica", referring to the British firm that is at the centre of a storm for illegally accessing Facebook user data for political purposes.

The minister's remarks came after the Congress described the allegations of its involvement in the data breach baseless. The Congress said the "With INC" app was being used for social media updates alone since transitioning the membership to the website.

"This morning, we were forced to remove the app from the Playstore as the wrong URL was being circulated and people were being misled. The "With INC" app is a membership app and has not been in use for over five months since we moved membership to http://www.inc.in from 16th Nov 2017," the party said in a series of tweets.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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