BJP CMs, senior leaders lead counter-attack

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The BJP on Tuesday deployed chief ministers and senior party leaders to launch a synchronised counterattack on the Pegasus controversy.

“During Covid, the opposition has tried to spread rumours and fear. Right before the monsoon session, where important issues were to be discussed, news like this was released. This shows the fall of democracy,” UP CM Yogi Adityanath told media persons in Lucknow. “In Parliament, the PM introduces new ministers. But the opposition was not in favour of it. The unruliness that happened is against democracy.”

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan put the blame on the Congress and said it had a history of snooping. “It is a deliberate attempt by the opposition to disrupt the monsoon session. They raised the issue of spying because they don’t want the government to take decisions on people’s welfare,” Chouhan said in Bhopal. “BJP doesn’t need to spy on the Congress, a party which has become zero. It is the Congress which indulges in such things.”

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma alleged in Guwahati that the Congress was “resorting to conspiracies through Pegasus”. He attacked Amnesty International for defaming India. “Amnesty International is infamous for its long history of hatching conspiracies against India’s democratic fabric and its leadership,” he said. “I demand a ban on the activities of such organisations which are hell bent on defaming and harming our nation.”

“Whenever the opposition fails to raise important issues, something like this comes up. We have seen it during previous sessions too,” Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal told ET. “During the UPA government, phone tapping was alleged by the leaders within the government and the party. It is ironic that after all this, the Congress is blaming the NDA government for snooping.”

Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said there was a bigger design behind the Pegasus controversy. “Why is it that out of 45 countries whose names are connected with Pegasus, discussion takes place only in India?… The Telegraph Act is strong in India and under PM Modi’s government, it has become stronger. There are clear rules on legal tapping or intercepting of a phone call. There are stringent provisions if anyone tries to bypass these rules.”

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