20/04/2020 5:21 PM IST | Updated 20/04/2020 5:26 PM IST

Coronavirus: CPI(M) Leader Backs Kerala Govt As It Continues To Face Heat Over Sprinklr Contract

Over the weekend, Kerala IT department and principal secretary M Shivasankar took responsibility for the deal

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan 

CPI(M) politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai told Manorama News that the party did not find anything wrong with the Kerala government’s decision to enter into a contract with Sprinklr.

On whether the deal is in line with the party’s stand on data privacy, Pillai told the news channel: “Whatever yardsticks we formulated in a normal situation is not at all applicable in an extraordinary situation. We have to review the whole experience, not just one step.”

The state government’s contract with Sprinklr is for the use of a tool provided for free by the company to collate and analyse Covid-19 data in the state.

The Congress-led opposition has been attacking the state government over the deal, alleged that the tool compromised the privacy of individuals under quarantine during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Opposition has also alleged foul play, saying the deal was signed bypassing the law and finance department.

Read: Why Kerala Govt Is Under Fire For Its Covid-19 Data Contract With Sprinklr

Over the weekend, Kerala IT department and principal secretary M Shivasankar took responsibility for the deal, saying it was his call and that he had examined all sides of the deal. CM Pinarayi Vijayan holds the IT portfolio and Shivasankar reports to him.

Both Shivasankar and state law minister AK Balan claim that the deal did not need to be sent to the law department.

“The only point to be verified is whether the company is capable for the task. That’s for IT department to decide and not the opposition. When the opposition raised concerns over data security, the system was made fool-proof. Still, if there is data leak, then only legal action can be taken,” the law minister told Manorama.

Mathrubhumi reported that the documents uploaded by the government on the deal suggested discrepancies over the dates the purchase order and the non-disclosure agreement were signed with Sprinklr.

Sivasankar told Manorama the company had sent the purchase order and related documents on March 24 and data collection through Sprinklr’s platform started on March 25. However, the government signed the documents and returned it only April 2.

Both the government and the tech company have refuted the allegations and denied any wrongdoing.