CM prime accused in data scam: Chennithala

BJP’s Surendran tries to steal the show by meeting governor, seeking probe into `500-crore Sprinklr scam
BJP state president K Surendran submitting a memorandum seeking a probe into the Sprinklr data row to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. Party state secretary  C Sivankutty and Thiruvananthapuram district president V V Rajesh are also seen
BJP state president K Surendran submitting a memorandum seeking a probe into the Sprinklr data row to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. Party state secretary C Sivankutty and Thiruvananthapuram district president V V Rajesh are also seen

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as BJP state president K Surendran on Thursday tried to steal the thunder from Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala over the Sprinklr data row by approaching Governor Arif Mohammed Khan seeking termination of the state government’s deal with the US firm, the Congress leader asserted that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was the prime accused in the scam. However, the chief minister did not comment on the deal in his daily press briefing.

Though it was Chennithala who first raised the data scam on April 10 and has been holding daily press briefings in this regard, he did not take the initiative to meet the governor. Surendran took advantage of this and approached the governor seeking a comprehensive probe into the deal with the US-based Sprinklr. Talking to reporters outside Raj Bhavan, Surendran termed the Left government’s deal as a Rs 500-crore scam.“

The Left government’s dealings in the Sprinklr case have been mysterious and the explanation given by the authorities are not foolproof. I have sought the termination of the deal as well as a detailed probe in the letter given to the governor,” said Surendran.

Earlier in the day, Chennithala alleged that the data scam would come to the tune of around Rs 200 crore, given that the health data of over 1.7 lakh people had already been fed on the Sprinklr website so far. He maintained that the details were collected by ASHA workers through a questionnaire comprising 41 questions.

“Pinarayi Vijayan is the prime accused in the case. I am happy that the chief minister took the initiative to address the allegations I had raised on Wednesday. It is surprising that when the chief minister keeps touting even about the food being served to ants during the Covid-19 pandemic, he remained mum about the international contract signed with Sprinklr,” said Chennithala.

He also demanded to know why the usual norms were not followed before signing the contract with Sprinklr. Neither the cabinet was taken into confidence nor a file opened in this regard. Chennithala challenged Pinarayi to produce the file pertaining to the contract if there was one. He also trashed the chief minister’s argument that there was no scam as there was no government payment involved, saying that data is wealth in the modern times and the company can sell the same for a sum. Besides, the private health data of Keralites have been compromised.

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