The Pegasus scandal is expected to have ripples in parliament today as the opposition plans to corner the government over the issue. Sources said the opposition parties will hold a strategy meet at the Parliament House at 10 am to discuss the alleged illegal surveillance through the Israeli spyware Pegasus on political leaders, journalists, bureaucrats and others.
Trinamool Congress's Sukhendu Sekhar Ray has given a 267 notice, seeking suspension of Rules of business in the Rajya Sabha, for a discussion on Pegasus.
The Upper House was likely to discuss 'Covid management' today afternoon. Later on Monday, the agenda showed that new IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw will make a statement regarding "compromise of phone data of some persons as reported in the media" after 2 pm.
In a statement in Lok Sabha on Monday, Mr Vaishnaw has called it a "sensational story" without any substance. The web portal's report itself "clarifies that the presence of a number does not amount to snooping," said the minister, whose number was apparently on the alleged list of potential targets.
The second day of revelations on Monday from 17 media organisations spread across the world set off a political storm. Congress's Rahul Gandhi, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, new IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, former Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa were in the list of potential targets, reported web news portal "The Wire".
With Pegasus vendor NSO declaring that it only supplies the software to "vetted governments", the opposition parties have demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
The Congress has sought the resignation of Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the issue and an investigation against PM Modi.
In a statement, the Congress said, "The unpardonable sin is that the snooping and hacking of cell phones through 'Pegasus' has given illegal access to the entire conversations, passwords, contact lists, text messages and live voice calls of India's security apparatus, Union Ministers, Opposition Leaders, Paramilitary Chiefs, Supreme Court Judges and others. 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".
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at PM Modi. "We know what he's been reading- everything on your phone," he posted on Twitter – a reply to his own post two days ago, which said "I'm wondering what you guys are reading these days.