While a question mark hangs over West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s national ambitions, ‘Khela Hobe‘, her war cry during the recently-held Assembly elections, has already made it to Parliament. Opposition lawmakers shouted ‘Khela Hobe’ slogan in Lok Sabha while demanding a discussion on ‘Pegasus Project’ report, according to ANI.
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The Pegasus spying racket that broke on the eve of the Monsoon session, has held up both houses of Parliament from Day 1 of the session. The Opposition has been demanding that PM Narendra Modi make a statement in Parliament on the issue. They also want the government to initiate a joint parliamentary committee probe or request the Supreme Court to appoint a sitting judge to investigate the matter.
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This follows a series of reports by a consortium of international media websites. The reports alleged that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including of ministers, journalists, opposition leaders and one sitting SC judge apart from many businesspersons and activists in India could have been hacked through Pegasus spyware.
According to reports, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, a nephew of Mamata Banerjee, and poll strategist Prashant Kishor were among the potential targets of the spyware. Even union ministers were under watch.
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Amid the Parliament stalemate, the Opposition, in a show of unity, met on Wednesday to devise a common strategy on the issue. The meeting chaired by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, was attended by Opposition leaders from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. It was decided that adjournment motions will be submitted in the House. “Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders will submit similar adjournment motions on the Pegasus issue in the Lok Sabha,” a senior leader said after the meeting, according to PTI.
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The Congress leader is also reported to have said that the government was trying to defame the Opposition by accusing them of not allowing Parliament to run.
Leaders of the Congress, DMK, NCP, Shiv Sena, RJD, SP, CPIM, CPI, NC, AAP, IUML, RSP, KCM and VCK attended the meeting. Among those present were Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Jairam Ramesh of the Congress, DMK’s TR Baalu, Tiruchi Siva, Kanimozhi, NCP’s Supriya Sule and Praful Patel, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, National Conference leader Hasnain Masoodi, CPI-M’s Elamaran Karim, CPI’s Binoy Viswam, AAP’s Bhagwant Mann and RJD’s Manoj Jha.