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Home / India / SC Pegasus ruling vindicates Opposition stand: Rahul

SC Pegasus ruling vindicates Opposition stand: Rahul

The Congress leader iterated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in illegal snooping need to be probed
Rahul Gandhi addresses the media in New Delhi on Wednesday
Rahul Gandhi addresses the media in New Delhi on Wednesday
PTI

Sanjay K. Jha   |   New Delhi   |   Published 28.10.21, 01:30 AM

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the Supreme Court’s decision in the Pegasus case vindicated the Opposition’s stand, iterating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in illegal snooping needed to be probed.

Addressing the media after the Supreme Court formed a committee to look into the matter despite stubborn resistance from the Modi government, Rahul said: “We welcome the order. This is a big step. Pegasus is an attempt to crush Indian democracy. It is an attempt to make sure that the vibrancy of democracy, the conversation that takes place in democracy, is crushed and people are controlled.”

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The Opposition parties had jointly blocked Parliament in the last session, demanding a debate on the illegal snooping while the government stonewalled any questioning on the issue.

Rahul repeated the key questions that need to be answered: “Who purchased, authorised use of Pegasus? Who were the targets? And was the data (collected through this process) available to other countries?”

He said: “Central institutions of this country were attacked by Pegasus. We all know that’s not the only attack that is taking place. There are different ways in which the idea of India is being attacked. Pegasus is of course a particularly nasty, subversive way of doing it. It is a way to control the politics of the country, to frighten people, to blackmail them into not doing what they are supposed to do. Not allowing the democratic processes to work.”

Arguing that Parliament should still debate the issue, the Congress leader said: “Pegasus could have been ordered either by the Prime Minister or the home minister. No other person can do this. If the Prime Minister has connived with some other country to attack our country, then he should explain why he did it. Snooping by Pegasus is illegal. Why is the Prime Minister doing an illegal act? He is not above the nation, above institutions.”

He wanted to know whether the data collected by Pegasus was given to the Prime Minister or the home minister. “If the data of election commissioners, Opposition politicians is going to the Prime Minister, it is a criminal act. This is a deeper problem. If the Prime Minister is using Pegasus as a personal tool, it is truly criminal. Governments have been toppled using Pegasus. In Karnataka, the government was toppled using Pegasus.”

Asked about the government’s reluctance to answer questions because the issue is related to national security, he said: “This issue is the opposite. This is an issue where the government is attacking the national security of the country. Our data, of senior people, being handed over to a foreign country is an attack on national security. If it is true, that data is held outside India, then the Government of India itself is attacking India.”

He insisted this is not a political but an existential matter for India and the attack has been masterminded by two persons.

Pegasus could have been ordered either by the Prime Minister or the home minister. No other person can do this. If the Prime Minister has connived with some other country to attack our country, then he should explain why he did it
- Rahul Gandhi

The Congress is now not insisting on its original demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe and it is viewing the court’s ruling that something terrible had happened and the government cannot hide behind the shield of national security as a huge political victory.

Unlike in the Rafale case when the court gave its ruling on the false claim of the government that the public accounts committee of Parliament had examined the CAG report, judges this time refused to accept the government’s argument that it needn’t answer the basic question — whether it ordered Pegasus or not — because of national security.

The Congress has now got the licence to tell the nation that something was being hidden by the government because Modi did something unlawful. This narrative will force the BJP on the back foot in the elections in five states, the campaigning for which will start in a few days. Rahul has already clubbed the Pegasus snooping scandal with the misuse of the Enforcement Directorate, the CBI and other central agencies to blackmail and control Opposition leaders. This episode is bound to give credence to the allegation that democracy is under threat in the Modi regime.



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