Pegasus scandal: Trinamool slams BJP over allegations of snooping against Abhishek Banerjee, Prashant Kishor

Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Monday (July 19) 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 Trinamool Congress 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. It was also claimed that the phone of TMCs poll strategist Prashant Kishor was hacked during the high-octane West Bengal assembly polls.

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. 

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