File photo of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photograph:( Reuters )
Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to make a reference to Cambridge Analytica on Thursday while speaking to the Karnataka BJP. Modi was speaking to his party's workers and candidates before the upcoming Karnataka elections.
"So, you will have to fight against lies, false propaganda. As part of a conspiracy, efforts will be made to mislead you by hiring foreign agencies. Karyakartas (party workers) should not be shaken, their trust should not be shaken," he said.
There have been reports here that Cambridge Analytica — the UK firm accused of trying to swing the US presidential election Trump's way — may have been engaged by political parties here.
"The Congress, after repeated defeat in elections, is spreading lies. Earlier, out of 50 things they said there were 5-10 lies. Now, out of the 50 things they say, 40-45 are lies and the rest five would also lack clarity," Modi said.
The prime minister added there was a need to cleanse Indian politics of Congress culture.
"The mainstream of India's political culture is associated with Congress' misdeeds. Unless we liberate this mainstream from Congress culture, we cannot cleanse Indian politics," he said.
Modi also seemed to refer to pre-poll surveys indicating a photo finish by the Congress and BJP in the upcoming Karnataka elections.
The prime minister said "false propaganda" about a fractured mandate was being spread as part of a "conspiracy".
"A government with absolute majority is needed to change Karnataka's destiny. India is shining in the world today only because we have a government which has a complete majority at the Centre after 30 years," Modi said, asking BJP workers to endeavour to achieve that goal in the only big state the Congress still rules over apart from Punjab.
(With inputs from PTI)