TMC slams BJP govt over allegations of snooping against

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Abhishek Banerjee,Prashant Kishor Kolkata, Jul 19 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress Monday came down heavily on the BJP government at the centre over allegations of snooping against party leader Abhishek Banerjee and poll strategist Prashant Kishor, terming it as 'an attack on democracy'.

It said the revelations prove that the saffron party is suffering from 'fear-psychosis' over rise of Abhishek as a national leader.

'This is a black day for democracy. This is shameful that the Union government is using spyware to snoop on the phones of politicians, journalists, activists. Even youth leaders like Abhishek Banerjee are also not spared; our poll strategist Prashant Kishors phone was hacked.

'This only reflects the authoritarian mindset of this government. The union government should come clean on it. We condemn it,' senior TMC leader Sougata Roy told PTI.

Echoing him, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said, the revelations reflect the 'fear psychosis' of Abhishek Banerjee that the BJP is suffering from.

On Monday, opposition parties hit out at the government over alleged phone-tapping of prominent personalities in the country using Israeli Pegasus spyware and demanded an independent judicial or Parliamentary committee probe.

An international media consortium reported Sunday that more than 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including two serving 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 Israeli spyware sold only to government agencies.

The union government has denied any role in it.

It was also claimed that the phone of TMCs poll strategist Prashant Kishor was hacked during the high-octane West Bengal assembly polls.

'The BJP suffers from the fear psychosis of Abhishek Banerjee and Mamata Banerjee. During the assembly polls campaign, we had witnessed how Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and senior BJP leaders had constantly attacked Abhishek.

'Now this revelation about snooping proves they are afraid about the rise of our youth leader. But, such sort of low-level politics wont save the BJP from an imminent defeat in 2024 Lok Sabha polls,' Ghosh said.

IT and Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday dismissed media reports on the use of Pegasus software to snoop on Indians, saying the allegations levelled just ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament are aimed at maligning Indian democracy. PTI PNT SNS SNS

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