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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Doesn’t bother me, have done nothing wrong: Kumaraswamy on report that his aide was on Pegasus snoop list

He also alleged that such surveillance mechanisms are nothing new and have been deployed for 15-20 years now.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru |
Updated: July 20, 2021 9:03:46 pm
H D KumaraswamyH D Kumaraswamy (Express file photo)

Following reports that the number of his personal secretary was a part of the leaked database of numbers that have been potential targets of surveillance by the Pegasus spyware in the run-up to the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) alliance government in 2019, former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday said that he was not bothered by the development as he has never done anything wrong. He also alleged that such surveillance mechanisms are nothing new and have been deployed for 15-20 years now.

“This is nothing new and it doesn’t bother me. I have not done anything wrong which can be detrimental to the security of the country or my state,” he told the media in Bengaluru.

He added, “Several governments and also Income Tax departments have tapped phones in the past as well. This is not restricted to the Modi government — these things have been done for 15-20 years now. We don’t need to take this seriously at all.”

On Tuesday, The Wire reported that the key political players in Karnataka, including the then deputy chief minister G Parameshwara and the personal secretaries of then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and former chief minister Siddaramaiah, may have been potential targets of surveillance by the Pegasus spyware in the run-up to the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) alliance government in 2019.

Their phone numbers are part of the leaked database which was first accessed by French non-profit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, and then shared with 16 media partners.

Reacting to the report, former deputy chief minister G Parameshwara alleged that BJP can do anything, including partnering with foreign powers, to gain power and topple secular governments.

Taking to Twitter, Parameshwara said, “Every time we believe the BJP-led union government cannot go any lower, fresh proof arrives to show they can & will stoop to the lowest. #PegasusSnoopgate shows that BJP will do everything, including partnering with foreign powers, to gain power & topple secular governments.”

“This also proves that this is the same modus operandi used by BJP to come to power in Goa, Pondicherry, Manipur and Madhya Pradesh despite being rejected by the people. Brazen horse-trading and misuse of power by the BJP has led to the death of democracy in India,” he added.

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