Oppn Focus Shifts From Farmers, Oil Prices To Pegasus In Parl

By Ashoke Raj

Opposition parties have decided to raise the issue of Pegasus snooping in both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, said an opposition MP on Tuesday after the issue came to light on Sunday, leaving behind issues of price hikes, farm laws, the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination.

The opposition parties met on Tuesday before the commencement of the House. They had decided to take up price hikes of fuel, farms law, COVID-19 and vaccinations issues in both houses but focus has shifted to Pegasus snooping issues.
Congress and other opposition parties demanded an independent investigation into the Pegasus espionage issue and demanded a Joint Parliament Committee (JPC).

The Congress Parliamentary Party has also called a meeting with its MPs on the issues of their agenda of both the houses. Congress party agreed to discuss COVID in Rajya Sabha, but the party’s consensus is yet to decide whether to attend the briefing on COVID by the Prime Minister at 6 pm today.

The development comes after the names of over 40 Indian journalists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware, according to a report published in The Wire on Sunday.

According to the report, the journalists who were targeted work for some news organisations in the country including Hindustan Times, The Hindu, India Today, Indian Express and Network18. Many of them cover matters related to Defence, Home Ministry, Election Commission and Kashmir among others.

While addressing the press conference on Monday, Congress leader and LoP in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge alleged, “The Prime Minister and Home Minister are involved in snooping on Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, journalists, and even Union ministers. Before a probe, Amit Shah Sahab should resign and an inquiry should be conducted against Modi Sahab. If you have faith in democracy and work according to the constitution, then you are fit to be on that post.”

Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday said there is ‘no substance’ in the media report regarding the use of Pegasus on WhatsApp, adding that the report was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions. (ANI)

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