Kolkata: TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee Monday taunted Union Home Minister Amit Shah over allegations of snooping against him, saying Shah was unable to save his face from the humiliation of Bengal assembly poll defeat despite spying on him. He mockingly asked the senior BJP leader to come back well prepared for 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The Trinamool Congress also lamented the development and termed the allegations of snooping on Banerjee and poll strategist Prashant Kishor as “an attack on democracy”.
“Two Minutes of SILENCE for the SORE LOSERS! Despite ALLIES like ED, CBI, NIA, IT, ECI, @BJP4India’s money + might and #PegasusSpying Mr @AmitShah couldn’t save his face in #BengalElections2021. Please COME Prepared with Better RESOURCES in 2024!,” Abhishek Banerjee tweeted.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday hit out at the opposition Congress and international organisations for suggesting that the government was involved in surveillance of phones of politicians, journalists and others, saying such “obstructers” and “disrupters” will not be able to derail India’s development trajectory with their conspiracies.
Despite putting its best efforts, the saffron party failed in its “mission Bengal” and faced defeat in the hands of Mamata Banerjee, who formed government in the state with a thumping majority.
The TMC leadership 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.