Union Home Minister Amit Shah must be sacked and Prime Minister Modi must be investigated over the recent news reports of illegal hacking of cell phones of constitutional functionaries, Union Ministers, senior opposition leaders, judges, journalists, and others, the Congress demanded today. It alleged that the government can now listen to "bedroom conversations".
The main opposition party alleged that the Modi government was the "deployer and executor" of the "spying racket" through Israeli surveillance software Pegasus.
"This is clearly 'treason' and total abdication of 'national security' by the Modi government, more so when the foreign company could possibly have access to this data," a Congress statement said today.
The #Pegasus revelations are abhorrent. If true, the Modi government seems to have launched a grave and sinister attack on the Right to Privacy - constitutionally guaranteed to Indian citizens as a Fundamental Right. This is an affront to democracy and has.. 1/2— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) July 19, 2021
Explaining the functioning of the spyware and how it could affect people, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala cautioned that Pegasus could be installed in "your daughter or your wife's phone".
"If you are in the washroom, in your bedroom...whatever conversation you are having, you daughter, your wife, your family is having, the Modi government will be able to eavesdrop on it," Mr Surjewala said at a press conference today.
The party was reacting to an explosive news report in The Wire today which said its leader Rahul Gandhi, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, and new IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw were among those who were potential targets of Pegasus.
Politicians aside, over 40 Indian journalists and a constitutional authority were also found on the database of NSO, Pegasus's vendor, as connected to people of interest since 2016, The Wire reported yesterday.
"The person responsible for it is none less than the Home Minister of India, Shri Amit Shah. Of course, it could not be done without the consent and concurrence of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. This is an unforgivable sacrilege and negation of Constitutional oath by the Home Minister and the Prime Minister," the Congress statement said.
Listing the number of media platforms whose journalists' phones had been targeted using Pegasus, Mr Surjewala said, "This is why the BJP is known as the Bharatiya Jasoos (spy) Party. The party has long been known for jasoosi."