Pegasus spyware: PM, BJP turn India into a ‘surveillance state’: Mamata

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File photo of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

In a blistering attack on Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the BJP over the Pegasus spyware, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday, alleged that the saffron party wants to “turn India into a surveillance state instead of keeping it a democratic country”.

Speaking at the Martyrs’ Day programme in Kolkata Banerjee said the Israeli military-grade spyware “dangerous” and “ferocious”. Banerjee said she cannot talk to other opposition leaders now. “I cannot talk to you people. To Sharad Pawar, Delhi Chief Minister, Goa Chief Minister…” she said.

“Our phones are tapped. I cannot talk to anyone. You are paying too much money for spying. I have plastered my phone. We should also plaster the Centre otherwise, our country will get destroyed. BJP has bulldozed the federal structure of the country,” she said.

Calling upon the opposition to unite against the BJP, Banerjee said she would go to Delhi on July 27 or 28 and will be available for an opposition meeting if one is held.

Banerjee said that “Three things make democracy — media, judiciary and the Election Commission. But, Pegasus spyware has captured all the three.” Her nephew and senior party leader Abhishek Banerjee was also a potential target for surveillance, according to the news portal “The Wire”.

Then, in a ferocious attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee said, “Mr Modi… Don’t mind… I am not attacking you personally. But, you and may be the Home Minister — you are deploying agencies against opposition leaders. You are misusing the agencies. The people in Bengal did not support you”.

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