Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has demanded that a privilege motion be moved against Minister for Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw for allegedly misleading the Lower House of Parliament on the Pegasus issue.
He wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Sunday after the New York Times, in its report, claimed that the Indian government bought the Israeli spyware in 2017 as part of a USD 2-billion package for weapons.
Mr Chowdhury said the government, on the floor of the House, always maintained that it had nothing to do with Pegasus and that it never bought the spyware from the NSO Group.
"In light of the latest revelations by New York Times, it appears that the Modi government has misled Parliament and the Supreme Court and lied to the people of India."
"In view of the above, I demand that a privilege motion may be initiated against the Minister of Information Technology for deliberately misleading the House on the Pegasus issue," the Congress leader said in his letter to the speaker.
He also alleged that the government "lied to the Supreme Court when it was directly questioned about the purchase and deployment of Pegasus".
The Congress leader pointed out that in a sworn affidavit, the government unequivocally denied "any and all" of the allegations against it on the Pegasus issue.
The Pegasus issue rocked the monsoon session of Parliament last year when the Opposition demanded a discussion on the issue.
Mr Chowdhury alleged that the government was targeting political leaders, journalists, judges and civil society activists, using the Israeli spyware.
The Pegasus issue is likely to cast its shadow on the budget session of Parliament starting Monday, with the opposition parties set to raise the pitch in both houses.