At a time when reports surfaced that the Pegasus spyware attack may have led to the toppling of the Karnataka state government, the state’s Congress unit has announced it will organise a protest near the Raj Bhavan on Thursday against the alleged illegal surveillance on Indian citizens using the Israel–made- spyware.
It is learnt that senior Congress leaders are going to meet in the Vidhana Soudha before heading towards the Raj Bhavan. Opposition leader, Siddaramaiah will lead the protest condemning the phone-tapping of Supreme Court judges, senior leaders of the Congress, BJP, as well as journalists and activists. The state Congress has demanded a probe into the spyware row under the monitoring of a Supreme Court Judge.
It may be noted that investigation by The Wire into the leaked database revealed that the phone numbers of then deputy CM G. Parameshwara, personal secretaries of then CM H.D. Kumaraswamy, and former CM Siddaramaiah, were reportedly selected as possible targets for surveillance.
Senior Congress leader V.S. Ugrappa said, “It (snooping) has been done on our national leaders. When the coalition government supported by the Congress was in power in Karnataka, the phones of then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, then Deputy CM G. Parameshwara, former CM Siddaramaiah and ex-Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda were tapped. The same had been done in West Bengal and other states”.
Rebutting the claims of BJP leaders that phone-tapping is allegedly a Congress culture, Ugrappa said these are false allegations that are being levelled by the BJP since they are now caught in the scandal while adding that Rajya Sabha MP and senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has endorsed that phone-tapping was done.
He questioned, “If the Central government can hand over the Bofors scam that took place in 1989 to a Joint Session Committee in 2021, why is the BJP quiet in this case?” Former minister H.M. Revanna asked that if France can conduct a high-level inquiry into the snooping scandal, why the Indian government can’t probe the matter.
…With IANS inputs