Growing evidence of JD(U), BJP links with Cambridge Analytica
While JD(U) leader KC Tyagi on Thursday denied any association between Cambridge Analytica and its Indian arm, documents call their bluff.
Suspended CEO of Cambridge Analytica , Alexander James Ashburner Nix, was authorised in 2011 by Amrish Tyagi’s firms “Strategic Communication Laboratories Ltd” and Ovleno Business Intelligence Private Ltd to apply in India for incorporating a separate company under the name “Strategic Communication Laboratories Private Limited”.
The board resolution of the SCL group, a copy of which is with National Herald, on August 31, 2011 authorised two foreigners, namely Alexander Waddington Oakes (son of John Waddington Oakes) and Alexander James Ashburner Nix (son of Paul David Ashburner Nix) to apply for the name availability to the Registrar of Companies in India.
The resolution appears to establish the links with Janata Dal (United) leader and close confidant of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar KC Tyagi’s son Amrish Tyagi with the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, which was formed later only in 2013. Amrish Tyagi was also enlisted to help the JD(U)-BJP alliance in the lead-up of assembly polls in Bihar in 2010.
KC Tyagi: My son not linked to Cambridge Analytica
During the day, however, KC Tyagi denied that his son Amrish had any links to Cambridge Analytica. “In 2010 polls, there was no role of the firm. On behalf of JD(U), I want to say the party did not take any help from the firm."
In a statement, Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI) did not deny its links with SCL/ Cambridge Analytica but said, “We are not denying our association with SCL/Cambridge Analytica but we are a ground research company closely working with various media houses and are not undertaking any project with Cambridge Analytica related to social media (specially Facebook).”
“We are equally shocked and surprised to see the data breach controversy and we are also looking to end our association with them. Cambridge Analytica has already suspended Alexander Nix, who is under fire in all this controversy, but we are not authorised to speak on behalf of them," OBI said.
But the company that OBI and SCL had authorised Nix to incorporate in India to conduct “quantitative and qualitative behavioural research and analysis, public opinion surveys, provision of communication strategies and related management and advisory services in India” calling into question the company’s attempt to distance itself from CA.
The Congress meanwhile alleged that there was evidence of links between the BJP and Cambridge Analytica. As evidence, it shared the former BJP IT data head and current head of MyGov website Arvind Gupta’s tweet praising Cambridge Analytica in 2017. It also claimed that Union minister Smriti Irani followed Cambridge Analytica on Twitter.
Charges and counter charges continued to be traded on Thursday and several political leaders said on condition of anonymity that it seemed a fit case for a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee, if not by the Election Commission and the CBI.