Did Israeli Team Interfere In Indian Elections? Congress Slams BJP, Demands Probe

New Delhi: Did a foreign group interfere in Indian elections?

According to an investigative report by a consortium of international journalists, a team of Israeli contractors had interfered with more than 30 elections around the world, including in India, through hacking, sabotage and automated disinformation online.

The consortium, with reporters from 30 leading global media outlets, claimed on Wednesday that a so-called ‘Team Jorge’ — led by Tal Hanan, a 50-year-old former Israeli special forces operative who works privately using the pseudonym Jorge — was behind “fake social media campaigns” in countries like India, the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Senegal, and the UAE.

On Thursday, the Congress hit out at the BJP-headed Central government and demanding a probe into the allegation.

Congress accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of joining hands with the Israeli team.

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said at a press conference here on Thursday that the Israeli team is responsible for spreading fake news and disinformation on widely used platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Gmail, and alleged that BJP’s IT cell has mirrored the modus operandi of ‘Team Jorge.’

“This impacts India’s electorate process directly and there should be a probe,” Supriya said.

“This isn’t the first time that allegations of data theft have been made against the Modi government. One of the serious charges this government faces is data theft and manipulation to tamper with the electoral process… This government is known to play with big data to their advantage,” Supriya added.

Accusing the PM of having more than 60% fake followers on social media platforms, she claimed over 18,000 fake accounts on Twitter amplify fabricated information for the BJP.

Pawan Khera, another Congress leader, linked the issue with the recent Adani Group controversy.

“How many companies of Adani gave money to Modi government? Where has he spent it? Pegasus or Jorge?” questioned Khera.

BJP hasn’t yet reacted to the report on Israeli intervention or Congress’ charge.

Tal Hanan has denied any “wrongdoing”.

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