Cong LS members to discuss floor strategy on Pegasus Project issue

·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], July 20 (ANI): Congress will hold a meeting of Lok Sabha members at the parliamentary party office on Tuesday to chalk out floor strategy on the issue of the Pegasus Project media report.

The meeting is likely to be held at 10:30 am prior to starting the business of House.

Congress party on Monday demanded an independent probe into the alleged illegal surveillance of journalists using Pegasus spyware and sought the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

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."

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "PM Modi says he promotes Digital India but today we are seeing it is surveillance India. NSO is saying that its products are used exclusively by the government to fight crime and terror. But they are using Pegasus against people who speak against the Prime Minister."

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.

However, 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.

Speaking in Lok Sabha, Vaishnaw said that it can't be a coincidence that the report appeared a day before the commencement of the monsoon session of Parliament.

The Minister said that any form of illegal surveillance isn't possible with "checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions."

"In India, there's a well-established procedure through which lawful interception of electronic communication is carried out for purpose of national security. Requests for lawful interceptions of electronic communication are made as per relevant rules under provisions of Sec 5(2) of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Sec 69 of Information Technology Act 2000. Each case of interception is approved by the competent authority," he assured. (ANI)

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