Amid the Pegasus snooping row, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday asked why is it so difficult for the government of India to give a straight answer as to whether it was a client of the Israeli firm NSO Group that sells the surveillance spyware.
The former home minister said the NSO Group had 40 governments and 60 agencies as its clients.
"A simple question: was the government of India one of the forty? Why is it so difficult for the government of India to give a straight answer to that simple question?" P Chidambaram said.
An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on a list of potential targets for surveillance using Israeli firm NSO's Pegasus spyware.
Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, two union ministers -- Prahlad Singh Patel and Railways and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw -- businessman Anil Ambani, a former CBI chief, and at least 40 journalists are on the list on the leaked database of NSO. It is, however, not established that all the phones were hacked.
The government has been denying all opposition allegations in the matter.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)