Home minister Amit Shah hits out at Congress, global organisations over Pegasus scandal
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday lashed 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 it was a "report by disrupters for obstructers" who want to derail India's development trajectory with their conspiracies. Alleging that the report was timed to cause disruptions in parliament, he even used a phrase his critics have often used to target him: "Aap chronology samjhiye (understand the chronology)".
"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 Samjhiye!" the Home Minister said in a statement, reports NDTV.
In a hard-hitting statement, he questioned the timing of the "selective leaks" on the eve of the Monsoon session and said they have been amplified by a few whose only aim is to do whatever is possible to humiliate India on the world stage.
"The timing of the selective leaks, the disruptions Aap Chronology Samajhiye!," he said, referring to opposition parties stalling proceedings in Parliament on Monday.
"This is a report by the disrupters for the obstructers. Disrupters are global organisations that 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 said.
The home minister said he wanted to assure the people of India that the Modi government's priority is clear 'National Welfare' - and it will keep working to achieve that no matter what happens.
Opposition parties on Monday criticised the government over the 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 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 Israeli spyware sold only to government agencies.
The government, however, had dismissed the allegation of any kind of surveillance on its part on specific people, saying it "has no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever".
Shah said those who intend to derail India's progress are peddling the same old narratives about the country.
"To see the rudderless Congress, jump on to this bandwagon is not unexpected.
"They have a good past experience in trampling over democracy and with their own house not in order, they are now trying to derail anything progressive that comes up in Parliament," he said.
The home minister said the facts and sequence of events are for the entire nation to see and the disrupters and obstructers will not be able to derail India's development trajectory through their conspiracies.
"People have often associated this phrase with me in a lighter vein but today I want to seriously say - the timing of the selective leaks, the disruptions Aap Chronology Samajhiye!," he said.
Shah said the Monsoon Session of Parliament started on Monday and in what seemed like a perfect cue, late last evening a report appeared and it has been amplified by a few sections with only one aim - to do whatever is possible to humiliate India at the world stage, peddle the same old narratives about the nation and derail India's development trajectory.
The home minister said the people of India have high hopes from the current monsoon session as key bills for the welfare of farmers, youngsters, women and the backward sections of society are lined up for debate and discussion.
No less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government is ready to discuss all topics, he said.
Shah said just a few days ago the Council of Ministers was expanded with great emphasis given to women, SC, ST and OBC members.
"But there are forces unable to digest this. They also want to derail national progress. This merits the question - to whose tune are these people dancing, who want to keep showing India in poor light? What pleasure do they get to time and again show India in a bad light?" he asked.
The home minister said when the prime minister rose in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to introduce his Council of Ministers, which is a well-established norm, the Congress-led opposition was in the Well of both Houses.
"Is this their respect for Parliamentary norms? The same behaviour continued when the IT Minister was speaking about the issue," he said.
The opposition parties created a ruckus over the alleged phone tapping issue in both Houses of Parliament on the first day of the Monsoon session, forcing repeated adjournment of proceedings.
Accusing the government of "treason" and compromising on national security over the Pegasus spyware issue, the Congress Monday demanded the sacking of Home Minister Amit Shah and a probe into the "role of Prime Minister" Narendra Modi in the matter.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala held Shah responsible for the Pegasus spying issue and said his party's first demand is his dismissal from the post he occupies.
He said the Congress will take all Opposition parties on-board over the issue and decided whether to ask for a judicial or parliamentary probes in the matter.
"Our first demand is the immediate sacking of Minister of Home and Internal security Amit Shah and a probe into the role of the prime minister in the matter," he told reporters.
Amit Shah's use of the phrase "Aap chronology samjhiye" became hugely controversial when he declared in 2019 that the government would bring the Citizenship Amendment Act and after that the National Citizen's Register. The phrase became viral and was repeatedly used by the opposition in its attacks on the government.