New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has intervened to end the parliament deadlock on the Pegaus issue when he called up Trinamool Congress leaders this morning ahead if the house meeting. Opposition parties have been demanding a house debate and an independent inquiry as a pre-condition to end the deadlock which has led to very little function beijg discharged in the Lok Sabha this monsoon session of Parliament.
Sources say Singh called up leader of Trinamool Congress (TMC) in LS Sudip Bandopadhyay on Tuesday (July 27) morning in a bid to get a sense of opposition’s demands.
The TMC leader, sources say, insisted on a discussion on the spyware in the Lok Sabha.
”From the beginning we have made it clear that our priority is discussion on Pagasus in presence of PM, HM. Our leaders Mamata Banerjee & Abhishek Banerjee phone have been hacked, their party leader of Opposition in Bengal, Suvendu Adhikari making public statement about having our call records. It has increased their apprehension over Pagasus misuse”, a senior TMC leader said on condition on annonimity.
Meanwhile Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray has given a notice in the Rajya Sabha under Rule 267 to stop all work and discuss Pagasus.
Rule 267 gives opposition MPs an opportunity to give a written notice to suspend regular business in the Upper House and seek a discussion on a burning issue.
Earlier the West Bengal government formed an inquiry commission to look into Pegasus snooping row, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced yesterday.
The TMC supremo, the first state leader to begin a formal inquiry into snooping allegations, also said that the party was waiting for the Centre to take any action and probe the Pegasus expose.
She added that Senior Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur and ex-Chief Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya will lead the commission, and look into the snooping row.
“Through Pegasus, everyone including judiciary and civic society has been under surveillance. We expected that during Parliament, Centre will investigate under SC supervision, but they didn’t. West Bengal is the first state to initiate a commission of enquiry,” Mamata Banerjee said. “We wanted Centre to form a commission to look into Pegasus snooping, but the Union government is sitting idle,” she complained.
An international media consortium reported on Sunday that more than 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including of 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 the spyware sold only to government agencies.
Banerjee is expected to meet Prime Minister later in the afternoon in Delhi.