Use of Pegasus spyware on Indians a treason, says Rahul Gandhi; demands Shah’s resignation

Congress leader claims his phone was tapped

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 23

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday termed the alleged use of Pegasus spyware on some Indians and Indian institutions as treason and said Union Home Minister Amit Shah must resign and Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be investigated.

Gandhi, while addressing reporters at Parliament House complex, claimed that his phone was not a potential target and was indeed tapped.

“My phone is not a potential target, my phone is tapped. It is clearly tapped. So it is not a potential target. I am quite clear about it,” he said.

Amid continued Parliament disruptions over the snooping controversy, Gandhi said, “Pegasus is classified by the Israeli state as a weapon and that weapon is supposed to be used against terrorists. The prime minister and the home minister have used this weapon against the Indian state and against our institutions. They have used it politically, they have used it in Karnataka and they have used it to scuttle probes. They have used it against the Supreme Court and against all the institutions of this country. The only word for this is treason and there is no other word for this.”

He said the matter had to be investigated and the home minister had to resign.

“Our prime minister has used Pegasus, a snooping spyware, against India's institutions and Indian democracy. My phone was tapped. This is not a matter of Rahul Gandhi's privacy. I am an opposition leader and raise the voice of the people. This is an attack on the voice of people. Pegasus was used against the Supreme Court, to scuttle the Rafale investigation. Narendra Modi has used this weapon against our country and this can be described only as treason,” Gandhi reiterated, demanding that the home minister should resign and a judicial inquiry by the Supreme Court conducted on Modi, as no one else could authorise the use of Pegasus.

“Only the prime minister and home minister can authorise the use of this spyware,” he said.

Gandhi alleged that there had been gross theft in Rafale.

“This is the truth. But the truth has a way of coming out. There is an inquiry in France and you will see the prime minister himself is responsible for corruption in Rafale. You'll see it. You can't buy everybody. You might think you might buy everybody and the prime minister might think he can suppress everybody, he might buy everybody, but you can't,’ said the former Congress chief after the party joined other opposition leaders in agitating over the Pegasus row outside Parliament in the morning.

Gandhi said the real question is why at the last minute when the CBI director was about to file an FIR, his phone was tapped and he was blackmailed.

‘Who did it/the question is not whether Anil Ambani's phone was tapped. The entire Indian state is under attack. You don't seem to understand that you are being attacked...This is not an attack on Rahul Gandhi or an individual, this is an attack on the entire Indian state,” Gandhi said.

The Congress leader said since Pegasus is only sold to governments an inquiry is needed to determine whether the Indian government bought it.

“The question is whether the Government of India has bought this or not,” Gandhi said.

Asked if he was afraid, Rahul said, “I am an open book, it does not matter to me. If you want to understand Indian politics, if you are corrupt then you will fear PM Modi. If you are not corrupt, you will not fear Modi, you tend to laugh.”

 

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