A discussion on Pegasus cyberattack in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, followed by a judicial probe are the pre-conditions for Parliament to function, the Congress said on Monday.
This was to counter criticism from the government, which has accused the Opposition of disrupting Parliament for the sixth day in a row in the ongoing monsoon session.
Congress Chief Whip in the Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet, “The entire Opposition is united. 1. Have a discussion on Pegasus snooping issue in presence of the Prime Minister or Home Minister. 2. Announce a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry into the scandal.”
Parliament, he stated, was not functioning because the government was not agreeing to these legitimate demands.
Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’ Brien, concurring with Mr. Ramesh, said this was exactly what was needed. “We need this. Not green tea at Piyush Goyal’s office. Thanks. But no thanks,” he tweeted quoting Mr. Ramesh’s tweet.
Since the Pegasus issue broke, Congress leaders, including Rajya Sabha member Shakti Sinh Gohil, had demanded an investigation by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC).
The party, though now has finalised its stand that a JPC will be ineffective since it has limited powers.
Senior party leader Shashi Tharoor, who also heads the Standing Committee on Information Technology, which has had a few meetings on Pegasus, had said that merely summoning witnesses would not suffice in investigating a case of this magnitude. On Monday, he tweeted, “Opposition's demands have been clear from the beginning: discuss #PegasusProject w/ Prime Minister or Home Minister present, not just IT Minister, & conduct a Supreme Court-monitored investigation to establish the facts. Then Parliament can do the rest of its work undisturbed!”