Pegasus scandal: BJP goes on the offensive to counter charge of snooping

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 21, 2021

Tejaswi Surya   -  The Hindu

Questions credibility of Amnesty, its media partners

The BJP’s strategy to tackle allegations of snooping in the Pegasus spyware scandal appears to be to mount an even more aggressive counter-attack. The ruling party on Wednesday fielded its youth-wing president and MP Tejaswi Surya to discredit Amnesty International and its media partners.

A day after the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma called for a ban on Amnesty International, Surya was brought in to say it is an organisation of “dubious nature” while simultaneously attacking its media partner, The Wire, and the entire Opposition which has been raising the Pegasus scandal in Parliament.


Before this, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav had dismissed the scandal as “sensationalism” while Home Minister Amit Shah and former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asserted that the scandal was designed to destabilise India and disrupt the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.

In this series, the latest manoeuvre is to discredit the media organisations which have participated in the investigation as part of an international consortium with Amnesty International. Accordingly, Tejaswi Surya was brought in to question the integrity of the media organisations and the human rights agency, besides attacking the Opposition.

“The Opposition regularly engages in ‘shoot and scoot’ to disturb the functioning of Parliament. This ecosystem has now manufactured a wild allegation that the Government has allegedly used the Pegasus software to spy on several individuals. Relying on a news article first published on a left-wing portal of questionable integrity and then regurgitated by another organisation of dubious nature called the Amnesty International, the Opposition claims that the government is allegedly snooping on them,” said Surya in a statement.

Surya claimed the Pegasus scandal is actually a “conspiracy” to tarnish the government’s reputation.

“It is important to note this supposed investigation was done three years after individuals were supposedly targeted. The result as per their own admission: is – “The presence of a phone number in the data does alone not reveal whether a device was infected with Pegasus or subject to an attempted hack”. This is clearly a conspiracy based on conjectures and false claims to hamper the image of the government,” he said.

Published on July 21, 2021

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