West Bengal Political Parties Tear Into BJP on Pegasus Row


TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee whose mobile number was also selected as a potential target for surveillance by NSO Group. — IANS

This is a black day for democracy. This is shameful that the union government is using spyware to snoop on the phones of politicians, journalists, activists, a senior TMC leader said

KOLKATA — When the West Bengal BJP leadership decided to keep mum over the Pegasus spyware controversy, terming it a national issue, the political parties in the state tore apart the saffron brigade on their alleged involvement in phone-tapping of prominent personalities in the country using Israeli spyware.

TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee whose phone was allegedly tapped, on his Twitter handle attacked Union Home Minister Amit Shah asking him to come prepared with better resources. “Two Minutes of SILENCE for the SORE LOSERS! Despite ALLIES like ED, CBI, NIA, IT, ECI, @BJP4India’s money + might and #PegasusSpying Mr @AmitShah couldn’t save his face in #BengalElections2021. Please COME Prepared with Better RESOURCES in 2024!” Abhishek Banerjee tweeted.

Trinamool state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the revelations reflect the “fear psychosis” of the BJP. “The BJP suffers from the fear psychosis of Abhishek Banerjee and Mamata Banerjee. During the assembly polls campaign, we had witnessed how Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and senior BJP leaders had constantly attacked Abhishek. Now this revelation about snooping proves they are afraid about the rise of our youth leader. But, such sort of low-level politics won’t save the BJP from an imminent defeat in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” Ghosh said.

“This is a black day for democracy. This is shameful that the union government is using spyware to snoop on the phones of politicians, journalists, activists. Even youth leaders like Abhishek Banerjee are not spared; our poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s phone was hacked,” a senior TMC politician said.

“This only reflects the authoritarian mindset of this government. The union government should come clean on it. We condemn it,” senior TMC leader Sougata Roy told the media.

Meanwhile, Congress Lok Sabha member and the Leader of Opposition in the lower house of the Parliament, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that this Pegasus spyware surveillance is a matter of national security. “The matter will be raised in both houses of the Parliament. What is the union government up to?” he questioned. He said that either Union Home Minister Amit Shah should clarify or he should resign.

“This is unacceptable levels of authoritarianism employing fascistic methods. The ‘snoop, plant, arrest’ formula employed by this BJP government is a violation of the fundamental rights of Indian citizens. The BJP-led central government must answer and come clean on using the Pegasus cyber software for surveillance of Indian citizens in an illegal and unauthorized manner,” the CPM said in their politburo statement.

However, the BJP leaders in West Bengal preferred to keep silent. BJP’s state vice president in West Bengal, Jaiprakash Majumdar said that since this is a national issue, it will not be proper on part of the state leadership to offer a comment on it. “The union government and party’s central leadership will surely explain the matter. Right now, we, on behalf of the state BJP, cannot offer any comment,” he said. — IANS

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