‘Priyanka Gandhi’s WhatsApp Hacked Through Pegasus Spyware’: Cong

The party, however, did not say exactly when Gandhi received the said message.

2 min read
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Sunday, 3 November, claimed that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had received a message from WhatsApp stating that her phone was suspected to have been hacked through the Pegasus spyware.

The party, however, did not say exactly when Gandhi received the said message.

Two parliamentary panels headed by Congress leaders have decided to look into the WhatsApp spyware case and will seek details from government officials including the Home Secretary, PTI reported.

The two panels are the standing committee on home affairs, headed by Anand Sharma and the standing committee on information technology, headed by Shashi Tharoor, according to the news agency.

Stepping up its attack on the government over the case, Congress issued a statement and said, “BJP government is the deployer and executor of this illegal and unconstitutional snooping and spying racket.”

Congress also dubbed the BJP as ‘Bharatiya Jasoos Party.’

Congress asked if the Narendra Modi dispensation spied on citizens and political leaders ahead of the 2019 parliamentary election.

Surjewala asked whether those sitting in the echelons of power are guilty of criminal offences and whether the government knew of the illegal spyware being deployed to spy on key persons.


‘Haven’t We Seen Cong Imagining Things That Don’t Exist’: BJP

Responding to the allegations, BJP Spokesperson Amit Malviya said this wasn’t the first time Congress was “imagining things that don’t exist.”

“Remember them claiming that Rahul Gandhi’s life was in danger when a green light, off a video camera, flashed on his face during a media briefing. Well, that is the level of their leaders’ credibility in public life,” Malviya tweeted.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had made a similar claim on Saturday, 2 November.

Former Union Minister and NCP leader Praful Patel was also targeted by the spyware, according to report in Hindustan Times.

WhatsApp had informed the Indian government in September that 121 Indian users were targeted by the Israeli spyware Pegasus, but IT ministry has contended that the information received from the messaging app earlier was inadequate and incomplete, according to sources quoted by PTI.

Sources at WhatsApp said the messaging platform has now responded to the government's query seeking an explanation on the Pegasus spyware incident that allegedly snooped on journalists and human rights activists across the world, including India.

(With inputs from PTI, Hindustan Times)

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