On the latest list of potential targets by Pegasus spyware, new names including Anil Ambani, have surfaced.
The phone numbers of industrialist Anil Ambani and a few other top executives from aerospace industry were found on the alleged list of potential targets of surveillance through the Israeli spyware Pegasus, news portal The Wire has reported. The numbers of Mr Ambani and one other official of Reliance Group were put on the list as the Rafale deal came under public scrutiny ahead of the 2019 national elections, The Wire reported.
The opposition Congress, at the time accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of settling for a grossly overpriced deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets from Rafale maker Dassault Aviation, to help Mr Ambani win a whopping offset deal.
The phone number of Dassault Aviation’s representative in India, Venkata Rao Posina, was on the list too, The Wire reported. Posina was defending the deal at the time and even getting into altercations on Twitter with critics.
“The number of Harmanjit Nagi, head of the French firm energy EDF, is also in the leaked database, a significant choice given that he was a member of Emmanuel Macron’s official delegation during the French president’s visit to India during this period,” The Wire reported. The Reliance Group has not responded to requests or answered questions yet, The Wire added.
The Pegasus scandal, has been dubbed as ‘bigger than Watergate’ by the opposition – broke this week. The names Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, political strategist Prashant Kishor, two Union Ministers and dozens of journalists and politicians have been found on the list of possible targets, reports said.
However, the government has dismissed all the allegations, sticking to its earlier statement that no “unauthorised” surveillance has been conducted. But the government is yet to provide a clear denial on the purchase of Pegasus spyware, which the opposition has been demanding. The political uproar has reached parliament.