National

7 Opposition parties seek Kovind’s intervention on farm laws, Pegasus

Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Seven Opposition parties have written to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking his intervention to direct the government to debate the farmers’ issues and alleged Pegasus spying row in the ongoing monsoon session.

“We Members of Parliament of various political parties are writing to you to seek an appointment to apprise you of two disturbing developments including the complete stonewalling of demands of the peasantry to repeal the three agricultural laws as well as use of Israeli spyware Pegasus to tape telephones of politicians, journalists and activists,” said the letter, signed by Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Badal, NCP’s Supriya Sule, BSP’s Ritesh Pandey and Danish Ali, CPI(M)’s PR Natrajan, CPI’s M. Selvaraj, erstwhile BJP ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party leader Hanuman Beniwal and National Conference’s Hasnain Masoodi.

None of the major Opposition parties including the Congress, the TMC or the DMK signed the letter.

“You would appreciate that a human tragedy is unfolding on the borders of Delhi with more than 550 farmers already having lost their lives during the course of the ongoing ‘Kisan Andolan’ [farmers’ agitation]. The livelihoods of millions more are at stake due to the three agricultural laws which have been made with the express purpose of handing over the agriculture sector to corporations,” the letter to President Kovind said.

Shockwaves among civil society

The letter also flags the Pegasus spyware cyber attack. The use of Pegasus software “to tape telephone numbers of politicians as well as journalists and activists besides known detractors of the NDA government has sent shockwaves amongst civil society,” it said. It is a fact that the Israeli company NSO sells the software only to vetted governments and the company has admitted as such, the letter claimed.

“Despite these revelations, the Union government is refusing to disclose why it had used this software against its own citizens and the details of the payments made to access the same. The NDA government has also refused to hold a probe into the entire issue,” it said.


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 5:51:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/seven-opposition-parties-write-to-president-urging-him-to-instruct-govt-to-discuss-farmers-issues-pegasus-in-parliament/article35561792.ece

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