New Delhi: The BJP hit out Monday at the Congress over its attack on the central government over the Pegasus snooping row. The BJP claimed that there is not a ‘shred of evidence’ to link either the ruling party or the Modi dispensation with the matter. Addressing a press conference, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad also questioned the credentials of those behind the story. He alleged that ‘The Wire’, the portal which broke the news in India, had been earlier associated with stories that have been found to be ‘incorrect’ while Amnesty International has a declared ‘anti-India’ agenda in many ways.
Those who broke the story themselves said that the presence of a particular number in the database does not confirm that it is infected with Pegasus, he said while questioning the timing of the story coming as it did a day before Parliament’s Monsoon session began on Monday.
Noting that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is also being mentioned as a target of the alleged snooping, Prasad said sarcastically that all his comments are on Twitter every day. “He keeps sharing his wisdom with the country. Is there any need to know anything more,” the BJP leader said in a lighter vein.
Prasad also brushed aside a question on the Congress’ demands for Home Minister Amit Shah’s resignation and probe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He accused the opposition party of hitting a ‘new low’ in making baseless allegations in a manner that was bereft of any political propriety.
With the Congress ‘shrinking and losing’, the entire row is timed to disrupt Parliament and build a baseless agenda, Prasad said and also raked up snooping allegations levelled against the opposition party in the past, including a row involving then Union ministers Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram.
“The BJP strongly refutes and condemns the baseless and bereft of political propriety comments levelled by Congress against the BJP. This is a new low in the political discourse of a party that has ruled India for over 50 years,” Prasad said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also lashed out at the opposition Congress and international organisations for suggesting that the government was involved in surveillance of phones of politicians, journalists and others. He said it was a ‘report by disrupters for obstructers’ who want to derail India’s development trajectory with their conspiracies.
In a hard-hitting statement, Shah questioned the timing of the ‘selective leaks’ on the eve of the Monsoon session and said they have been amplified by a few whose only aim is to do whatever is possible to humiliate India on the world stage.
“The timing of the selective leaks, the disruptions… Aap Chronology Samajhiye!,” Shah said, referring to opposition parties stalling proceedings Monday in Parliament.
“This is a report by the disrupters for the obstructers. Disrupters are global organisations that do not like India to progress. Obstructers are political players in India who do not want India to progress. People of India are very good at understanding this chronology and connection,” Shah asserted.
The home minister said he wanted to assure the people of India that the Modi government’s priority is ‘National Welfare’—and it will keep working to achieve that no matter what happens.