Congress leader P Chidambaram on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his message on the eve of 30 years of ties between India and Israel amid the latest row over the Pegasus controversy coming close on the wheels of the Budget session.
In a post on social media, Chidambaram urged the Prime Minister to ask Israel if the latter has any advanced version of the Pegasus spyware that was bought by the Modi government as a part of $2-billion deal with Israel for military hardware and intelligence tools in 2017, as reported by the News York Times.
The Congress leader said the country can do better with a more sophisticated software ahead of the 2024 general election and pay the Israeli company even $4 billion.
In a tweet, the Rajya Sabha MP wrote, “The PM said that it is the best time to set new goals in the India-Israel relationship. Of course, it is the best time to ask Israel if they have any advanced version of the Pegasus spyware. The last deal was for $2 billion. India can do better this time. If we get more sophisticated spyware ahead of the 2024 elections, we can give them even $4 billion.”
The Congress has intensified its attack on the central government over the spyware controversy, accusing the government of treason for allegedly “tapping” phones of Opposition leaders, armed forces and the judiciary.
Hindustan Times reported that the Congress will raise the issue in the Budget session of Parliament starting on Monday, and demand accountability from the Prime Minister and his government.