Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday lashed out at the Modi government over the Pegasus spying row, saying the Israeli software was used to attack the institutions of the country by the BJP. Addressing the media, Rahul said that his phone was also tapped and demanded a judicial investigation into the entire episode. He also sought Home Minister Amit Shah's ouster.
He sought to know from the government whether hackings were done on the direction of the Modi government and if not why isn't the government ordering an enquiry to find the people or organizations behind the spying of Union Ministers, judiciary as also many opposition leaders.
"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 our institutions. They have used it politically, they have used it in Karnataka..," he told reporters. "The only word for this is treason," he said.
"My phone was tapped. It's not a matter of Rahul Gandhi's privacy. I am an opposition leader, I raise the voices of people. This is an attack on the voices of the people. Home Minister should resign and there should be a Supreme Court inquiry against Narendra Modi," Rahul said.
"It is an attack on the democratic foundations of our country. It must be thoroughly investigated and those responsible be identified and punished," he added.
The former Congress president said that a judicial inquiry monitored by the Supreme Court should be conducted.
The alleged snooping issue has triggered a stormy start to the Monsoon Session after a global collaborative investigative project revealed that Israeli company NSO Groups' Pegasus spyware was targeted over 300 mobile phone numbers in India, including that of two ministers in the Modi government, opposition leaders, constitutional authority, several journalist and business persons.
It snowballed after it came to the fore that in July 2019, phone numbers of Karnataka's then Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and the personal secretaries of then Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, were selected as possible targets for surveillance.