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Narendra Modi hiding Pegasus truth, says Congress

Why did govt not cooperate with Supreme Court panel, asks party
Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi.
File photo

Sanjay K. Jha   |   New Delhi   |   Published 26.08.22, 01:54 AM

The Congress on Thursday fiercely contested the perception that the Supreme Court had rejected the allegation that the Israeli spyware Pegasus was used to snoop on Indian politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and activists.

The party asserted that the observations of the Chief Justice of India only confirmed the Narendra Modi government’s desperation to hide the truth.

Rahul Gandhi, who saw the Pegasus controversy as the “Modi government’s attack on India”, tweeted after the court’s order: “PM and his govt’s non-cooperation with the Supreme Court appointed committee is an acceptance that they had something deeper to hide and want to crush democracy.”

As the BJP adopted triumphant posturing and asked the Congress to apologise, Congress leaders hit back, arguing that everybody in the world knows who used Pegasus for snooping in India and to what depth the government had fallen to suppress the truth.

Congress social media head Supriya Shrinate tweeted: “This government can run, but it cannot hide the truth. It used a military grade spyware to snoop.”

Responding to her BJP counterpart Amit Malviya, she said: “Fake news peddler, get your facts right. The SC-appointed committee found malware in phones and said the Government of India did not cooperate in the enquiry. Questions: What is malware and who put it? Why did Modi government not cooperate? What is the Prime Minister scared of?”

Malviya had said: “Now that the SC-appointed committee has found no evidence of Pegasus, will Rahul Gandhi, who championed this campaign, explain how these reports emerged just before crucial sessions of the Parliament in foreign media and one Indian portal? Which syndicate’s interest was he serving?”

Former telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also demanded an apology from the Congress.

The government not only went out of its way to block any discussion in Parliament on the use of Pegasus despite a complete session washout, it also refused to answer the fundamental question: Did it buy the spyware or authorise any agency to use it in India?

Rahul had said then said: “Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have hit the soul of India’s democracy. They are not allowing a discussion in Parliament because it is obvious the government has done something wrong, something which is dangerous for the country. Otherwise, they would have said — come, let’s have the discussion.”

Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh on Thursday wondered what was the BJP gloating over after refusing to cooperate with the probe and refusing to answer simple questions in “yes” or “no”.

Vallabh said: “How can they give the answers? Because if they give the answers properly, they have to answer under which provision or under which Act they had installed or used the Pegasus weapon against Rahul Gandhi and other leaders of Opposition parties, against senior journalists, against the election commissioner, against civil society activists and judges.”

Vallabh added: “Everybody knows that this weapon (Pegasus) was used. This weapon has given a dent in democracy; everybody knows that this weapon is against the law and the Constitution of our country, how can they give the answer? The Modi government tried to weaken and control the media, judiciary and political rivals by snooping on them illegally and undemocratically.”

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