The Congress and BJP traded charges on Monday on the issue of alleged data theft with Congress President Rahul Gandhi stepping up his attack on Prime Minister Narendera Modi and accusing him of misusing his position to build personal database "with data on millions of Indians via the NaMo App promoted by the government".The BJP hit back, terming him "technologically illiterate."The sharp exchange of words saw some personalised attacks with Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani targeting Gandhi, tweeting that "even ‘Chhota Bheem' knows that commonly asked permission on Apps don't tantamount to snooping." The BJP also accused Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of using government money to run the 'Siddaramaiah App'.As the BJP accusing the Congress of sharing users' data to a Singapore-based firm, the Congress took down its‘'WithINC mobile app, saying it had been defunct for five months and emphasising that there was no breach of data through it. The BJP salvo came a day after Gandhi, citing a media report, accused Modi of leaking details of his official mobile app users to US firms.Sharpening his attack on Monday, he termed Modi a "Big Boss who likes to spy" and also alleged that NaMo App secretly records audio, video, contacts and even tracks location via GPS."Modi misusing PM position to build personal database with data on millions of Indians via the NaMo App promoted by Govt. 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," Gandhi said in a tweet.
"Modi's NaMo App secretly records audio, video, contacts of your friends and family and even tracks your location via GPS. He's the Big Boss who likes to spy on Indians. Now he wants data on our children. 13 lakh NCC (National Cadet Corps) cadets are being forced to download the app," he added. Irani took a swipe at Gandhi, asking him if his team had misunderstood his demand to get "NaMo" app deleted and instead removed "WithINC" from the Google store.She also 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 was at the centre of a storm for illegally accessing Facebook user data for political purposes.BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also targeted Gandhi in a press conference and accused him of spreading lies."This is a classic case of technological illiteracy of Rahul Gandhi. Technologically he is very backward. Analytics is not equivalent to spying or snooping. Those technologically ignorant are trying to describe it as snooping and spying,"he said. He alleged that Congress was rattled by the Cambridge Ana"yitca "expose" and was trying everything to divert attention and to stop Prime Minister from communicating with others.