Pegasus spyware row: Guj CM slams Cong, oppn for 'anti-national mentality'

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Ahmedabad, Jul 20 (PTI) Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday accused the Congress and other opposition parties of playing into the hands of foreign forces and displaying an 'anti national mentality' by creating a controversy over the Pegasus spyware issue to malign India's image.

An international media consortium reported on Sunday that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including of two ministers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders and one sitting judge besides scores of businesspersons and activists in India could have been targeted for hacking through the spyware.

It has rocked the monsoon session of Parliament, with the Centre and opposition parties trading charges.

'The Congress and other opposition parties are playing into the hands of foreign forces and have created a controversy over the Pegasus issue just to malign India's image. The Union government has denied using Pegasus. Raising this issue just before Parliament's monsoon session shows the anti-national mentality of the opposition,' the CM was quoted as saying in a statement.

He added that the agency that had raised the issue had given no evidence that the spyware or its data were used in this country, 'Though it has been claimed that 45 other countries also use this software, only India is being targeted,' he said, adding that the Congress, instead of playing the role of a constructive opposition, was trying to come back to power even at the cost of national security.

He said the Congress had tried to put the Centre on the mat over the Rafale deal, surgical strikes on terror camps and farm laws but had failed.

The Congress always stood in support of 'urban Naxals' and'tukde tukde gang', the Gujarat CM further claimed.

'In response to an RTI plea filed in 2013, the UPA government had admitted to spying on 9,000 phone numbers and 500 email accounts. Recently, a phone tapping issue connected to the Congress-led Rajasthan government had also emerged,' Rupani said. PTI PJT BNM BNM BNM

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