War of words between Haryana CM Khattar, Kumari Selja over Pegasus controversy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar today lambasted the Congress for disrupting Parliament over the Pegasus controversy. Meanwhile, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Kumari Selja questioned as to why a state CM was giving explanation for it. She announced to hold a protest march over the snooping issue.

Khattar, addressing a press conference, here today said that the Parliament session was to discuss enhancing the rights of farmers, women, youth and backward classes, but the Congress was trying to derail it.

“The Congress has a character that whatever they used to do (during their tenure), they make similar allegations against others,” he said and added that they not only spied upon their rivals but also targeted their own party colleagues.

“We never resorted to such things,” Khattar claimed, adding that during the UPA rule, the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had written about phone tapping by then Home Minister P Chidambaram. “The Chandra Shekhar government was dislodged after floating a story about two detectives.”

He claimed that as per a list, they had snooped on over 9,000 people including senior leaders. “During the nuclear deal, they snooped on Amar Singh,” he said.

He claimed that for the Pegasus controversy, the Congress had conspired with foreign help. “Why do we need to tap phones when without tapping they (Opposition leaders) say such hilarious things that they suffer loss?” Khattar said.

He questioned the credibility of Amnesty International and alleged that they are connected with organisations that want to tamper with the image of the country.

On Pegasus, Khattar said, “There is no proof that the targeted phones were actually hacked. There are a number of agencies which are doing it, but we are not doing it.”

Holding a press conference later in the day, Selja said, “About 300 individuals in the country were targeted, including judges, top officials, journalists and Opposition leaders. Our leader Rahul Gandhi and people associated with him are also on the list.”

She alleged, “It is clear that it was not done for fighting terrorism but to infringe on fundamental rights.” She claimed that Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka was dislodged with the help of snooping. She demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe or the SC-monitored inquiry. She called for resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah.

She said all the MLAs have been called for a protest march on July 22 from the HPCC office to Governor’s House. She hinted that the march would be held despite imposition of prohibitory orders in Chandigarh.

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