Opposition 'unites' against Modi govt on Pegasus, Rahul trades 'anti-national' charge against Centre
New Delhi/IBNS: Disperate opposition forces sans the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Wednesday came together outside Parliament to corner the Modi government on the Pegasus spyware issue, which has turned out to be a new political flash point.
Leading the Opposition, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi held a press brief to slam Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for allegedly "snooping" on Indian politicians, Supreme Court, journalists and others.
"Our voices are being suppressed by the government in Parliament... We are not disrupting Parliament but we are asking a question to the government, 'Did it buy Pegasus'"? Gandhi questioned.
"The government has used Pegasus, which should have been used against the terrorists, against people of the country. This act is anti-national," said the Congress MP.
"The government is running away from debates on Pegasus," he added.
The same was echoed by the representatives of other opposition parties.
Taking a dig at the "Opposition unity", BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "Mamata ji is having tea with Sonia ji and saying they are united. All opposition leaders were united on a stage in Karnataka in 2018. Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav had fought elections together. All opposition leaders were present in a rally in Kolkata. What was the result? All are trying to save their own families."
"People of our country know who was suppressing whose voices," he added slamming Gandhi.
Names of high profile Indian political personalities like Rahul Gandhi, former poll strategist Prashant Kishor, new IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister Prahlad Patel and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee among others have featured in the potential target list of the Israeli spyware, The Wire had earlier reported in an explosive revelation.
NSO had denied the snooping allegations, claiming that it only offers its spyware to "vetted governments" and said it was "considering a defamation lawsuit".
However, forensic tests had confirmed that some of them were successfully snooped upon by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware, The Wire reported.
The data was accessed by Paris-based nonprofit journalism organisation Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International and then shared with the Guardian, The Wire and other media outlets as part of the Pegasus project.