Pegasus row: Lok Sabha adjourned again; Congress asks for vote of no-confidence against Modi government

Party's Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari, earlier on last week, too moved an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha over the same issue.

Published: 09th August 2021 11:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2021 12:54 PM   |  A+A-

A view of Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi

A view of Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi. (Photo| PTI)


NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha proceedings on Monday were adjourned thrice following uproar by Opposition members over various issues.

When the House met for the day in the morning, Opposition members sought to raise various issues, including the Pegasus spyware controversy and started shouting slogans following which the proceedings were adjourned till 11:30 am.

When the Question Hour resumed at 11:30 am, Opposition members trooped into Well.

Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the Chair, asked members to go back to their seats.

"Question Hour is a medium to discuss issues, please participate in this," Agrawal said.

Soon, he adjourned the House till noon.

When the House met again at noon, Agarwal, who was in the chair allowed papers related to different ministries to be tabled in the House.

Then he allowed Aayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to introduce The National Commission for Homoeopathy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 2021 amidst strong opposition.

TMC member Saugata Roy said he opposed the introduction of the Homeopathy bill as it would be detrimental to the Homeopathy profession.

However, Sonowal defended the bill saying it is very important for the country and members should appreciate it.

Congress leader Manish Tewari said the introduction of bills amidst opposition protests is violation of the Constitution.

After admission of the two bills, Agarwal allowed Social Justice and Empowerment minister Virendra Kumar to introduce The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury strongly opposed the move and said that the entire opposition has been demanding discussion on the alleged snooping by Pegasus spyware but the government was ignoring the demand.

Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Meghwal strongly objected it, saying the government was ready for discussion on all issues.

As protests, continued, Agarwal adjourned the House till 12.30 pm.

Earlier, Speaker Om Birla, on behalf of the House, paid tributes to those who had participated in the Quit India Movement.

The members also stood in silence for a brief while as a mark of respect to those who took part in that movement.

The country is celebrating the 79th anniversary of the Quit India Movement that was launched in 1942 under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.

Birla also mentioned about India's performance at the just-concluded Olympic games at Tokyo and congratulated the medal winners.

Members thumped their desks when the name of Neeraj Chopra, who won the gold medal in javelin throw at the Olympics, was mentioned.

While noting that winning seven medals was the best ever Olympics performance by India, Birla exuded confidence that the performance would enthuse youngsters.

Congress Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari on Monday suggested that the Opposition must consider bringing a vote of a no-confidence motion against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

He also moved an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha over the row.

Terming the Pegasus spyware issue 'a matter of grave concern', Tewari stated that 'reputed agencies' like Citizen Lab have found traces of the spyware on some of the devices that were attacked.

As the logjam in Parliament continues over the issues including farmers' agitation, Pegasus issue and COVID-19 mismanagement, Congress MP tweeted, "Since NDA/BJP Govt is showing a level of obduracy unwitnessed before in annals of Parliamentary Democracy by not discussing l'affaire Pegasus, Farmers agitation and COVID mismanagement joint opposition should seriously consider bringing a vote of no-confidence against NDA/BJP Govt."

"Reports have pointed out that the Government of India has procured the surveillance tool Pegasus developed by Israeli company NSO Group for surveillance of Journalists, Civil Society Activists, Politicians and Supreme Court Judges. Since the NSO group's policy is that clients are confined to the vetted government only it suggests that the spyware was used by the GoI and not any other private body," the Congress MP said in his adjournment motion.

"It should be noted that this kind of surveillance classifies as hacking, which is what spyware does and it would very much qualify as unauthorised interception or hacking as per Information Technology Act, 2000. The fact is that the government has not categorically denied that Pegasus has been used officially. Sir this is a matter of grave concern and therefore I wish to raise the same," he added.

Tewari, earlier on last week, too moved an adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha over the same issue.

Congress MP Manickam Tagore on Monday moved adjournment motion notice in the Lok Sabha on the same issue.

"I hereby give notice of my intention to ask for leave to move a motion for the adjournment of the business of the house for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent importance, namely:- Need to suspend the business of the day to have a discussion in the presence of the Prime Minister or Home Minister the alleged role of the Government towards utilizing Israeli Pegasus spyware as the weapon against Indian opposition leaders, Chief Justice of India, Election Commissioner of India, CBI Director, Women Journalists and MPs of BJP's," Tagore said in his notice.

The business of both the Houses of the Parliament remained majorly disrupted due to the continuous ruckus created by the Opposition over the issues including farmers' protest, Pegasus spyware, COVID-19 and inflation.

Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Opposition for disrupting the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament and said no matter how much the Opposition parties try to disrupt Parliament proceedings during the ongoing Monsoon Session and stall the development, the "country cannot become hostage to such selfishness and politics".

The Opposition has been continuously demanding discussion on the issue of Pegasus in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Monsoon Session commenced on July 19 and is scheduled to continue till August 13.

(With ANI Inputs)


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