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Cong seeks CBI probe into Kerala Covid-19 data deal

Cong seeks CBI probe into Kerala Covid-19 data deal

Thiruvananthapuram,  Even as Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan continues to maintain that all was fair in transfer of coronavirus data to US-based Sprinklr, a Congress leader, here on Monday, demanded a CBI probe into it after surfacing of the marketing firm's links with pharma major Pfizer.

Pfizer is engaged in research to find a vaccine for coronavirus, besides other anti-viral drugs.

"Vijayan blames us when we ask real questions on the shady deal with Sprinklr. A CBI probe is the need of the hour," former state Congress chief M.M. Hassan said.

Senior Congress legislator V.D. Satheeshan said, "Everything is now crystal clear with the news surfacing about the relations of Pfizer with Sprinklr."

"While the digital agreement was reached with Sprinklr in April, the data transfer started in March, " he said and added, it was only after Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala raised the issue that a non-disclosure agreement was signed.

"Everything has been done shabbily and without following relevant rules while entering into the agreement with foreign firms. No due diligence was done. It's health-related data, and very personal," said Satheeshan.

The Congress has sought CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury's reaction on the issue. Vijayan is refusing to give a 'convincing' answer to the opposition charge on the Sprinklr deal.

Meanwhile, breaking the silence over the issue on Monday, the Communist Party of India (CPI), the second biggest ally in the Vijayan cabinet, in it official publication said data safeguard and privacy must be maintained with care.

According to sources, the CPI(M) politburo is expected to take up the issue on Wednesday, while the state Secretariat will discuss it on Tuesday.

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