'Firm & United' in Demand for Pegasus Discussion in Parl: Opposition
The statement has been signed by top Opposition leaders such as Mallikarjun Kharge, Sharad Pawar, and Derek O'Brien.
Prominent Opposition leaders have, in a statement, said that the Opposition parties “stand firm and united” on their demand for a discussion on the Pegasus issues in both the Houses of the Parliament. This is because the issue, they say, has “national security dimensions”.
Further, the statement, which has been signed by top leaders such as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar, TMC leader Derek O’Brien, and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut says:
“The Opposition has also unequivocally conveyed that the discussion on the farmers’ issues and agitations arising from the three anti-farmers and black agri-laws should follow the discussion on Pegasus.”
WHAT ELSE DID THE OPPOSITION LEADERS SAY?
Alleging that the government has unleashed a “misleading campaign to malign the combined Opposition” and dubbing it “unfortunate” that the government blames it for the continued disruption in the Parliament, the Opposition leader said:
“The responsibility for the deadlock lies squarely at the doorsteps of the government, which remains arrogant and obdurate and refuses to accept the Opposition’s demand for an informed debate in both the Houses.”
Further, the Opposition reiterated it’s request to the government to respect parliamentary democracy and accept the discussion.
WHO ARE THE SIGNATORIES OF THE STATEMENT?
The signatories of the statement are:
Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha
Sharad Pawar, NCP
T R Balu, DMK
Anand Sharma, INC
Ramgopal Yadav, SP
Derek O’Brien, TMC
Sanjay Raut, SS
Kalyan Banerjee, TMC
Vinayak Raut, SS
Tiruchi Siva, DMK
Manoj Jha, RJD
Elamaram Kareem, CPI(M)
Sushil Gupta, AAP
ET Mohd Basheer, IUML
Hasnain Masoodi, NC
Binoy Viswam, CPI
NK Premchandran, RSP
MV Shreyams Kumar, LJD
Previously, in July, seven Opposition parties wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind and sought his time to apprise him of two "disturbing" developments, namely, the long-pending demand of the farmers to repeal the agricultural laws, and the recent Pegasus Project report.
"We seek your intervention to uphold the dignity of the Constitution of India and parliamentary rules and procedures. The country is going through an Emergency-like situation and the Parliament is going through an unprecedented crisis."The Opposition parties' letter
THE PEGASUS REPORTS
Israel-made Pegasus was believed to have been used to snoop on at least 300 Indian phone numbers.
The names of Rahul Gandhi, Prashant Kishor, Ashok Lavasa, and Union ministers Prahlad Patel and Ashwini Vaishnaw, are among those on the leaked list, The Wire reported.
However, the presence of the numbers in the 'Pegasus Project' does not confirm that the device was actually 'infected with Pegasus or subject to an attempted hack', The Wire said.
The Indian government, on its part, has denied any role in the snooping operations, slamming the reports.
On 19 July, the NSO Group that developed the Pegasus spyware, had put out a statement denying all allegations and stated that its programme was for "vetted governments for the sole purpose of saving lives through preventing crime and terror acts".
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