Owning all responsibilities of data transfer of COVID-19 suspects to a US-based PR and marketing firm Sprinklr, IT Secretary M.Sivasankaran is in the eye of the storm.
On Saturday, he told the media that the decision to hand over the data to Sprinklr was his. "I am part of the government and it was my call to hand it over to Sprinklr. Now that the issue is before the court, let a decision come and if my decision was wrong, it can be relooked," said Sivasankaran.
Opposition Congress demanded the removal of the IT secretary on Saturday. UDF convener Benny Behanan wanted the CM to remove IT secretary M Sivasankar, saying the latter has owned responsibility for signing the deal. “Handing over sensitive information to a private entity is a clear violation of fundamental rights and against the security of the nation,” Behanan said.
“I am surprised Pinarayi wasn’t aware of the fact that details of an individual comes under their privacy as per the ruling of Justice Puttaswamy in 2017,” Mullappally said. “When a contract is signed, the basic formality is to include the date. But in the agreement between IT Department and Sprinklr, the date of the purchase order wasn’t included along with IT secretary’s signature.” While eulogizing former CPIM Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan as “transparent”, he termed Pinarayi “mysterious”. The KPCC president also wanted the CPM leadership to seek Pinarayi’s resignation.
“CPM secretary Sitaram Yechury and Politburo leader Prakash Karat should make their stand clear,” he said.
Shafi Parambil MLA, who is also the state president of the Youth Congress, said Pinarayi should relinquish the IT portfolio. He further said that even a start-up can handle 1.5 lakh Covid cases without any problem. “The country was able to handle Aadhaar data of 130 crore people without any hassle. Why should a foreign firm be allowed to handle 1.5 lakh cases?” Shafi asked.