Kerala High Court (Screen-grab, Copyrights: Deccan Chronicle)
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Thiruvananthapuram:

 
The Kerala government has submitted an affidavit in the high court stating that everything about the Sprinklr deal was done taking into consideration the exigency of the situation.

The controversy has not gone down well with the CPI — the second biggest ally of the Pinarayi Vijayan government, which feels all the good work done by the government in the state, where the first novel coronavirus case was reported in the country when a student from Wuhan reached Thrissur on January 1, 2020, has now been eroded.

In its initial observation the court has slammed the Kerala government — the IT department directly under the control of Vijayan.

The major emphasis of the government in its affidavit was they were more concerned about lives.

The Congress party has slammed the Vijayan government for doing things on the sly and taking cover under the extraordinary COVID-19 situation.

It has even dragged the name of Vijayan’s daughter-Veena, whose IT firm in Bengaluru allegedly has played a vital role in the data scam.

There are no chinks appearing in the ruling Left Democratic Front’s armour. CPI, state secretary Kanam Rajendran reached the CPI-M state party headquarters late on Wednesday and met Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the CPI-M state secretary, and expressed his party’s strong displeasure in the way the whole thing was kept under wraps.

The cabinet is yet to take up the Sprinklr issue. The Sprinklr controversy erupted after the Congress accused the state government of not following due procedures in appointing the US-based firm and hence risking the transfer of crucial health data of the citizens to pharmaceutical companies.

The opposition party questioned why the administration took the assistance of the US-based firm when there were institutions like the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (CDIT) and Kerala State IT Mission could do the same job.

The state government inked a deal with Sprinklr, a SaaS (Software as a Service) company owned by Ragi Thomas, an expatriate Keralite, that offers marketing, advertising and customer engagement services.

The deal pertains to the personal health data of people in the state.

The data with answers of various questions, including details of their symptoms and health conditions, was compiled by the workers at the grassroots level using a tool developed by Sprinklr to assist doctors and medical officials in making an informed choice about possible hospitalisation.

The high court will take up the issue again on Friday.

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