The Monday’s leg of the revelations in this story by 17 publications across the world set off a political storm, sending the ripples to India too.
The Pegasus hacking issue will probably rock the day in the Indian politics today as opposition plans to corner the government over the issue Sources said. A strategy meet at the Parliament House at 10 am will be bold by the opposition parties to discuss the alleged illegal surveillance through the Israeli spyware Pegasus on political leaders, journalists, bureaucrats and others.
Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, the TMC MP, has given a 267 notice, seeking suspension of Rules of business in the Rajya Sabha, for a discussion on Pegasus.
This afternoon, the upper house was likely to discuss ‘Covid management’. The agenda, later on Monday, showed that new IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw will make a statement regarding “compromise of phone data of some persons as reported in the media” after 2 pm.
Mr Vaishnaw, while speaking in LokSabha on Monday, had called it a “sensational story” without any substance. The web portal’s report itself “clarifies that the presence of a number does not amount to snooping,” said the minister, whose number was apparently on the alleged list of potential targets.
However, the Monday’s leg of the revelations in this story by 17 publications across the world set off a political storm. Congress’s Rahul Gandhi, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, new IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, former Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa were among the list of people who had been chosen to be targeted by the spyware by the unknown client of Israel’s NSO company.
However, NSO clarified that it only supplies the software to “vetted governments”, giving the opposition more reasons to demand an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
Over this issue, the Congress has sought the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and investigation against PM Modi.
In a statement, the Congress said, “The unpardonable sin is that the snooping and hacking of cell phones through ‘Pegasus’ has given illegal access to the entire conversations, passwords, contact lists, text messages and live voice calls of India’s security apparatus, Union Ministers, Opposition Leaders, Paramilitary Chiefs, Supreme Court Judges and others. This is clearly “TREASON” and total abdication of “National Security” by the Modi Government, more so when the foreign company could possibly have access to this data”.