Pegasus issue to echo in Parliament today

A day after the monsoon session of parliament began with adjournments and protests by opposition, high drama continues with the Pegasus snooping row escalating and names of politicians and journalists on the list of potential targets.

Four opposition parties – the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP and the CPM – have given notices under rule 267 in Rajya Sabha, demanding suspension of the scheduled business of the House to discuss the Pegasus spyware controversy.

At a huddle this morning, the opposition parties decided to raise the controversy all day long. The leaders will meet again at 2 pm to decide if they will attend the meeting on Covid called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 6 pm.

The snooping row escalated on Monday as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, and new IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw were among the big names revealed as potential targets of Israeli spyware.

Soon after the big reveal, the Congress made a no-holds-barred attack on the government, demanding Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation and calling for an investigation without any delay. “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,” a party statement read.

Home Minister Amit Shah promptly slammed the opposition, and called it “a report by disrupters for the obstructers”, and said the release of the report was strategically timed to coincide with the start of the monsoon session.