Hyderabad: Trouble seems to be increasing for Andhra Pradesh government over the issue of alleged theft of private data of citizens, with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) lodging a complaint with the Hyderabad city police against IT Grids (India) Pvt Ltd.
The UIDAI has alleged that IT Grids stole the data of 78 million Aadhaar (unique ID) cardholders of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and expressed doubts that it might have been used to influence the voters before the recently held Lok Sabha elections.
Both the states had their parliamentary polling in the first phase on April 11. Andhra Pradesh also had simultaneous polls for the state assembly.
The matter had come to light a few weeks ago when Telangana police raided and searched the offices of the IT Grid after Andhra Pradesh opposition party YSR Congress alleged that it had stolen the data. It also alleged that the data was in fact provided by Andhra Pradesh government to the company to be used for an app, Sevamitra, it developed for Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
As part of the investigation by a special investigation team (SIT) of Telangana police, UIDAI was asked for its version about the alleged theft. Now the central government agency has taken the step and lodged a formal complaint. UIDAI officials said that before Aadhar Act 2016 came into effect, it had provided data of card-holders to several state governments on their request for policy making. It expressed doubts that Andhra Pradesh government might have leaked this data.
The YSRCP, in its complaint, had alleged that misusing the citizens data, the TDP had contacted many voters and tried to influence them before the elections while the TDP on the other hand alleged that YSRCP used this data taken from its Sevamitra app illegally to get the names of hundreds of thousands of voters deleted from the list.
Significantly, IT Grid’s chief executive officer Dakavaram Ashok has been absconding for the last several weeks.
The YSR Congress has alleged that Ashok was able to evade arrest as Naidu’s government was shielding him.
The issue was likely to snowball and add to the woes of Telugu Desam chief Naidu if the YSR Congress led by YS Jaganmohan Reddy comes to power after the poll results are declared on May 23.