Opposition MPs raised the Pegasus snooping issue in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday during a debate on a Constitution amendment bill that seeks to restore the states” power to make their own OBC lists.
Leader of the Congress in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed that countries like Israel, Hungary and France have ordered investigation into the issue of suspected snooping and asked why the Narendra Modi government is “afraid” of a debate on the matter.
Speaker Om Birla repeatedly told him to speak on the bill, following which Mr Chowdhury returned to speak on the proposed legislation.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay also raised the issue and proposed that the Lok Sabha hold a discussion on it on Wednesday.
In his brief reference to the alleged snooping of a number of people, including politicians, judges, businessmen and journalists, Mr Chowdhury noted investigation being ordered in some countries and targeted the government.
“What happened here? We are afraid of discussing a small matter, the Pegasus snooping issue, in Parliament. We are running away. Why? This was our issue,” he said, defending his party against the ruling BJP’s charge that it is not letting the House function by repeatedly disrupting it.
The onus of ensuring transaction in Parliament is on the government, he said.
Pitching for a discussion on the Pegasus issue, opposition parties have repeatedly disrupted the proceedings in Parliament, resulting in frequent adjournments in both houses since the Monsoon Session began on July 19.
Moving the Constitution (127th Amendment) Bill, 2021 for consideration and passage, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar described it as a historic legislation as 671 castes in the country would benefit from it.
He said the bill will restore the states’ rights to prepare their own lists of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) so that various communities can be given social and economic justice.