New Delhi: The Congress party on Monday launched a tirade against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government over the report on Pegasus Project that made serious accusations against the Indian government alleging snooping.
Speaking about this, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala jibed that BJP should be renamed as Bharatiya Jasoos Party (India’s Snooping Party).
“Rahul Gandhi was spied on, own cabinet ministers, security heads, media persons were spied on,” he said reiterating. “Modi ji which terrorists are being fought with by spying on them?” he added.
Accusing the Union Government of suppressing the fundamental rights of citizens, Surjewala said that the Centre has played with the security of the country and termed the alleged act of snooping as shameful.
Congress party’s Rajya Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge has demanded that Union Home Minister Amit Shah resign and a probe launched against PM Narendra Modi.
Addressing a press conference, former IT Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad called the Congress party’s statements “a new low in political discourse by a party” that has ruled India for several years.
Prasad, like his successor in IT Ministry, questioned the intention behind releasing this report ahead of the Parliament’s Monsoon Session.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister for Information Technology Ashiwini Vaishnaw responded to the ‘Pegasus Project’ report in Lok Sabha.
“A highly sensational story was published by a web portal last night. Many over-the-top allegations were made around this story. The press reports appeared a day before the monsoon session of Parliament. This can’t be a coincidence,” IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in Lok Sabha.
Reiterating the Indian government’s prior response, Ashwini Vaishnaw stressed that any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with checks and balances in Indian laws and robust institutions. “In India, there’s a well-established procedure through which lawful interception of electronic communication is carried out for purpose of national security,” he said.
Reports on ‘Pegasus Project’ alleged that over 40 journalists, 3 prominent opposition leaders, 1 constitutional authority, 2 serving ministers in the Narendra Modi government, current and former heads and officials of security organizations, and a large number of businessmen were part of the list of potential or past victims of the Pegasus project.
The Guardian and The Washington Post claimed that many governments of the world including the Indian government, are spying on eminent personalities through a special software named Pegasus which is sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO to the governments of various countries.
These personalities include human rights activists, journalists, and reputed lawyers. While the Opposition parties target the Union government over the claims, the latter has vehemently denied these allegations.
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