Lok Sabha rocked, opposition demands Supreme Court-monitored probe or JPC

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The Lok Sabha was rocked by opposition protests and stormy adjournments over the Pegasus spyware scandal and other issues on Tuesday before the House was shut for the day without transacting any business. With more startling episodes of the expose rolling out, the protests could intensify in the coming days. As soon as the House adjourned, the opposition members raised the phone hacking/tapping issue and demanded that the government order a SC-monitored investigation or a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the matter.

“We had given adjournment notices in both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha to hold a discussion on the violation of national security and fundamental rights under the Constitution over the phone tapping issue. The minister (Ashwini Vaishnav), who was trying to create confusion on the matter, should answer clearly whether the government has bought the Pegasus spyware or not. If yes, then the government should order a Supreme Court-monitored judicial probe into investigate the entire matter,” AICC spokesman Shaktisinh Gohil said.

After the adjournment, a delegation of Shiv Sena MPs met the Speaker and handed over a memorandum seeking a JPC probe. “The names of two ministers have emerged in the snooping row; Ashwani Vaishnav, who had also been spied upon, now has been made minister of the same IT department. Had a UPA government been in these circumstances, the BJP would have created a ruckus in the country and in Parliament. Therefore, we also demand a JPC probe… Both PM Modi and HM Amit Shah must tell the truth,” Shiv Sena parliamentary party leader Sanjay Raut told the media.

With the names of Rahul Gandhi and Abhishek Banerjee figuring in the reported list of people whose phones were targeted, the Congress and Trinamool MPs protested with placards. Trinamool members also staged a symbolic protest near the Gandhi statue with MPs carrying inter-connected phones to depict tapping.

The AICC announced a two-day national protest against the Pegasus issue. PCCs will hold press conferences on Wednesday.

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