'You are snooping on everyone': Mallikarjun Kharge demands discussion on Pegasus in Parliament
The names of several Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi and 40 Indian journalists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus.
NEW DELHI: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday reiterated the Opposition's demand for a discussion on the issue of alleged snooping using Pegasus spyware and said that the Central government does not want to go by the rules of the Constitution.
Speaking to reporters here, he said that the Opposition leaders have decided to raise this issue.
"They don't want to go by the rules of the Constitution. You (central government) are snooping on everyone including army officials, journalists and election commissioners. I am glad that all party leaders have decided to raise this issue together,"
"We want to have a discussion (on Pegasus snooping issue) within the law and order. Earlier they agreed on the discussion on the COVID-19 crisis but when we started with a discussion, they just gave a statement rather than having a discussion," he said.
Earlier in the day, Congress MP KC Venugopal gave notice under rule 267 in Rajya Sabha for suspension of business for the day to have a discussion in the presence of the Prime Minister or Home Minister on the Pegasus Project issue.
The names of several Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi and 40 Indian journalists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware, according to reports published in The Wire.
Speaking on Lok Sabha on June 19, the first day of the Monsoon session, Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said that it is an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.
He had said that in the past too, similar claims were made regarding the use of Pegasus on WhatsApp and those reports too had no factual basis and were denied by all parties.
The Minister also asserted that any form of illegal surveillance isn't possible with "checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions."