Opposition to meet Ram Nath Kovind on snooping

Ram Nath Kovind

Ram Nath Kovind   | Photo Credit: PTI


Opposition leaders also plan to raise the issue at the forthcoming winter session of Parliament.

Leaders of 13 opposition parties, including the Congress, on Monday signed a memorandum, expressing concerns over allegations of ‘snooping’ after the WhatsApp revelations. The parties sought an appointment from President Ram Nath Kovind to hand over the memorandum to him.

The opposition parties have argued that revelations made by Facebook-owned WhatsApp clearly point to the violation of the right to privacy as pronounced by the Supreme Court.

Opposition leaders also plan to raise the issue at the forthcoming winter session of Parliament.

On Sunday, Congress had alleged that party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was among those who were alerted by WhatsApp about possible hacking.

Opposition leaders expressed concern that their messages and photos could be ‘misused’.


The issue of snooping came up at a meeting of opposition leaders convened by the Congress ahead of it’s 10-day agitation programme to protest against the economic slowdown, unemployment, agrarian distress, bank frauds and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade agreement that the NDA deferred signing for now.

Apart from Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, the meeting was also attended by Ahmed Patel and Randeep Surjewala from the Congress, Communist Party of India general secretary D. Raja, CPI(M)'s T.K. Rangarajan, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha, TMC’s Nadeem-ul Haque, DMK’s T.R. Baalu and the RLD’s Ajit Singh, senior leader Sharad Yadav and RLSP chief and former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar did not attend the meeting though it was originally meant to be presided by Ms. Gandhi.

Addressing a joint press conference later, Mr. Azad, however, mainly focussed on the economic issues.


While the Left parties stayed away from the press conference, regional parties like Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) stayed away from the meeting.

”We discussed the snooping issue but on that we will brief you separately. Today, we focussed on economic issues,” Mr. Azad said.

Mr Raja, however, confirmed to the The Hindu that a memorandum on snooping was signed by the leaders at the meeting.


The opposition parties also decided to coordinate in Parliament and decide on a date when they could would share a common platform at the national level to protest against the economic policies of the government.

Mr. Azad, however, said different political parties would have separate agitation programmes in the States as ‘co-ordination’ at the block and district level is difficult.

”Instead of going around the world, Prime Minister should look at what's happening at home,” Mr Baalu said and quoted BJP leaders Arun Shourie and Subramanian Swamy.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:11:58 PM |

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