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India

Lok Sabha Adjourned Till July 22 as Both Houses See Disruptions Over Pegasus

New Delhi: Opposition including Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) held a meeting at Parliament on Tuesday morning where they discussed on a strategy to corner the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government over the reported phone tapping of prominent personalities including journalists in India using Israel’s Pegasus spyware. This meeting took place at 10 am today.

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Photograph of the Indian Parliament (PTI File Photo)

New Delhi: Lok Sabha proceedings have been adjourned till July 22. The Lower House was adjourned for the second time till 3 pm on Tuesday, amid continued opposition protest on Pegasus expose, Covid-19 mismanagement and fuel prices.

The Shiv Sena, who has been critical about the Pegasus expose, targeted the central government calling it ‘weak‘ on Monday, submitted a memorandum to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, seeking a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee. Shiv Sena MPs Vinayak Raut, Gajanan Kirtikar, Arvind Sawant, Sadashiv Lokhande, Krupal Tumane, Dhairyasheel Mane and Balu Dhanorkar submitted the memorandum on Tuesday.

“Had it been UPA’s govt in power, BJP would have created ruckus in the country. They would not have let the House run smoothly. We also demand a probe by Joint Parliamentary Committee. Both PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah should tell the truth,” demanded Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena on Tuesday.

On the other hand, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said the Pegasus Project media report issue is a matter of serious national security concern and the government needs to give an explanation on it. Speaking to ANI, Tharoor said, “It is been proved that phones examined in India had an invasion of Pegasus. Since this product is only sold to vetted governments, the question arises which government? If the Government of India says they have not done it, some other government did it, then it is a more serious national security concern.”

“If it turns out that it is our government and it is authorized to do it, then the government needs to give an explanation as the law only permits the interception of communication for issues of national security and terrorism; otherwise, it is illegal. It is essential for the government to cooperate in a probe,” Tharoor was quoted by ANI.

Attacking the Centre, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday said the former Union Health Minister was made a scapegoat for the mismanagement of Covid-19.

Speaking at Rajya Sabha, Kharge said, “Prime Minister Modi appealed to people to clang utensils, light up candles. People trusted him and did all of it. But, he did not fulfill his promise rather disappointed them. Instead of taking its blame, he made the health minister a scapegoat.” “Government asked people to wear masks and maintain social distancing. But what were they doing, during the elections in different states? You are breaking your own rules. You should be given credit for flouting Covid norms,” stated the Congress leader.

Earlier, opposition including Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) held a meeting at Parliament on Tuesday morning where they discussed on a strategy to corner the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government over the reported phone tapping of prominent personalities including journalists in India using Israel’s Pegasus spyware. The meeting took place at 10 am today, which went on for almost an hour.

Furthermore, Lok Sabha got adjourned till 2 pm and Rajya Sabha till 12 pm amid the instant uproar by the Opposition today.

On Sunday, an international media consortium reported that more than 300 verified mobile phone numbers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders, two serving ministers and one sitting judge besides scores of business persons and activists in India might have been targeted for hacking.

However, the government has dismissed the allegations, stating they have “no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever”.

ALSO READ: New IT and Jal Shakti Ministers Among Potential Snooping Targets of Pegasus Spyware: Reports

Meanwhile, Congress has demanded a through independent probe into the snooping scandal.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has also alleged that PM Modi and the Home Minister Amit Shah are both invalided in the Pegasus scandal.

He also demanded that the Home Minister should resign from his position before the probe takes place on the above-mentioned matter.

“PM and HM are involved in snooping on Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, journalists & even Union ministers,” LoP in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge said on Pegasus report.

ALSO READ: Pegasus Expose: Rahul Gandhi, Prashant Kishor, Ex-CJI Gogoi’s Accuser on Spyware List, Say Reports

“Before a probe, Amit Shah sahab should resign and an inquiry should be conducted against Modi sahab,” Kharge added.

In response, Amit Shah come out and said the matter was being amplified by few people with the sole purpose of humiliating the country.

He then went on to assert that Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s main priority is “national welfare”.

“People have often associated this phrase with me in lighter vein but today I want to seriously say – the timing of the selective leaks, the disruptions…Aap Chronology Samajhiye!” Shah said in a statement.

“This is a report by the disrupters for the obstructers. Disrupters are global organisations which do not like India to progress. Obstructers are political players in India who do not want India to progress. People of India are very good at understanding this chronology and connection,” he added.