The sandstorm let loose via the revelations into controversial data agency’s association now seems to have reached Nitish Kumar led JD(U)s doorstep, if claims by the data firm’s whistelblower are to be believed.
Christopher Wylie, former Cambridge Analytica (CA) employee turned whistleblower on Wednesday, released a set of documents on Twitter relating to the past projects of SCL group which is the parent company of CA:
I’ve been getting a lot of requests from Indian journalists, so here are some of SCL’s past projects in India. To the most frequently asked question – yes SCL/CA works in India and has offices there. This is what modern colonialism looks like. pic.twitter.com/v8tOmcmy3z
— Christopher Wylie (@chrisinsilico) March 28, 2018
As per the document titled “National Experience”, which details the past work of SCL in India, the JD(U) was helped by the data agency during the 2010 Bihar elections. This help supposedly included “providing electoral research and strategy for the party”. This strategy included SCL undertaking a behavioural research program which targeted 75% of the state’s households.
This targeting was used to identify the correct backgrounds, right audiences, messages and more importantly the “right castes to target” with their campaigns.
The JD(U) has since then come out to deny having ever used Cambridge Analytica’s services for caste analysis and claimed that the party doesn’t believe in using such means for electoral politics.
As per an Indian Express report, another allegation made against the JD(U) is that the address of SCL group’s India headquarters, “155, Niti Khand 1, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad” is the same as that of the official address of Ovleno Business Intelligence (OBI).
The report alleges that OBI which is/was SCL’s partner in India is owned by Amrish Tyagi, who is the son of JD(U) leader KC Tyagi. Tyagi has earlier dismissed the allegation of his son and Cambridge Analytica colluding to influence the 2010 Bihar polls.
As per the documents released by Wylie, a caste census was also carried out by SCL India during the 2012 Uttar Pradesh elections on behalf of a “national party”. It is also claimed that the organisation was asked to carry out research commutation campaign in support of a pan-India campaign for countering non-desired behaviour of recruitment and support of “violent jihadism” in 2007.