The BJP on Monday described Rahul Gandhi's accusation of "data theft" against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "a classic case of technological illiteracy" and said the Congress president was rattled after his plan to influence the next Lok Sabha election with the help of Cambridge Analytica was "exposed".
A host of BJP leaders reacted with sarcasm and strong criticism following the Congress president's attack on Modi, with Union minister Smriti Irani mocking Gandhi, saying that even 'Chhota Bheem', a cartoon character, knows that commonly asked permission on Apps does not "tantamount to snooping".
In a tweet, Gandhi had dubbed Modi "the Big Boss who likes to spy on Indians" and alleged that his "NaMo App secretly records audio, video, contacts of your friends & family and even tracks users' location via GPS".
At a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra lashed out at him, saying such kind of technological illiteracy has rarely been seen in Indian politics.
Taking a dig, he said Gandhi would tweet on Tuesday that Modi and BJP are connected to electronic voting machines through the NaMo app and they have been winning election after election because they have hacked it.
His allegations, Patra said, are a classic case of technological illiteracy.
It was the Congress app, he alleged, that was "stealing" people's data and as soon as the BJP exposed it, the opposition party took it down from Google's play store, making it "Congress-mukt".
He alleged that the Congress was stealing data of 20 crore Indian Facebook users with the help of Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm embroiled in charges of harvesting people's social media profile illegally, but was caught, leaving Gandhi rattled.
The private firm was allegedly using data theft, sleaze and honey trap to influence the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he claimed.
Patra cited user information sought by various media apps to claim that these permissions are demanded by smart apps for analytics and it does not amount to snooping.
The new age is age of information and Modi has been maintaining communication with the masses and BJP leaders through his app, which the Congress does not want, he said, claiming that the country had suffered 10 years of "communication-less" governance during the UPA rule.
"Because of his technological illiteracy he should not deceive the people of this country," Patra said.
(With agency inputs)