West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday took a swipe at the Central Government over the alleged snooping of politicians and journalists by the Israeli spyware Pegasussaying she has plastered her phone to prevent spying.
Referring to Pegasus as “dangerous” and “ferocious”, the West Bengal CM said, “Our phones are tapped. Pegasus is dangerous and ferocious. I cannot talk to anyone. You are paying too much money for spying. I have plastered my phone.”
Addressing a virtual gathering to mark Martyr’s Day, CM Banerjee further said, “We should also plaster the Centre otherwise country will be destroyed. BJP has bulldozed federal structure.”
The Trinamool Congress observes Martyrs’ Day on 21 July every year to commemorate the killing of 13 people in police firing on a rally of Youth Congress workers against the then Left Front government in 1993 when Banerjee was in the Congress.
The Bengal chief minister has also appealed to the apex court to take suo motu cognizance of the alleged snooping by Pegasus.
‘Khela Hobe’ till BJP is ousted from the country
CM Banerjee today also pitched for Opposition unity ahead of the 2024 General Elections to halt the BJP juggernaut, saying she was keen to meet the other political parties when she visits Delhi next week on 27 or 28 July and will be available for an opposition meeting if one is held.
CM Banerjee thanked leaders of the Congress, NCP, SP, Shiv Sena and several other parties for joining her rally virtually from the national capital.
Giving a twist to her victory slogan ‘Khela Hobe’, the Bengal CM said that one game has happened in the state and “another game’s afoot”.
“Khela will happen in all states until BJP is removed from the country. We will declare August 16 Khel Divas in Bengal,” Banerjee said.
Mamata said, “Today, our freedom is at stake. The BJP is responsible. The BJP has endangered our liberty. They don’t trust their own ministers & misuse agencies.”
“BJP has taken the country to darkness, we all have to come forward to take it to new light,” the Bengal leader added.
An international media consortium had reported earlier that more than 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including of two ministers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders besides scores of business persons and activists in the country could have been targeted for hacking using Pegasus software/spyware.
The Centre, however, dismissed allegations of any kind of surveillance on its part on specific people, saying it “has no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever”.
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