Updated: August 4, 2021 6:18:55 pm
Arguing that the Pegasus issue has “national security” concerns, Opposition parties have released a joint statement demanding a discussion on the matter in both Houses of Parliament.
The Opposition parties have also demanded that there should be a discussion on the farmers’ issue and the three farm laws over which protests have been raging.
“It is unfortunate that the government has unleashed misleading campaign to malign the combined Opposition and blaming it for the continued disruption in the Parliament. The responsibility for the deadlock lies squarely at the doorsteps of the government, which remains arrogant and obdurate and refuses to accept the opposition’s demand for an informed debate in both the houses,” read the statement which was issued by Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, NCP’s Sharad Pawar, Congress’s Anand Sharma, DMK’s T R Balu, TMC’s Derek O’ Brien, SP’s Ramgopal Yadav and RJD’s Manoj Jha, among others.
This comes a day after senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi led a meeting of Opposition leaders on Tuesday morning as he called all parties to unite against the Modi government over a range of issues, including the Pegasus snooping row, the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and farmers’ agitation.
After the meeting, several Opposition MPs led by Gandhi cycled to Parliament to highlight the issue of rising fuel prices.
This came barely a week after his surprise tractor ride to Parliament in protest against the same issue.
“The single motive to invite you is that we should unite. The more this voice unites, the more powerful it will become, the more difficult it will become for the BJP and RSS to suppress this voice. We should remember the foundation of unity and it is important that now we start to come up with the principles of this foundation,” Gandhi had said at the meeting.
While the Opposition has been insisting on a full-fledged debate on the Pegasus spyware issue, the government’s stand has been that it is ready to discuss anything but that.
Among those from the government who have sought to play down the matter is Union minister Pralhad Joshi who said Pegasus was a “non-issue” and the Centre is ready to have discussions on people-related issues.
Attacking the Opposition over repeated protests in Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while attending the BJP parliamentary meeting, had said, “The Opposition is not letting Parliament function. This is an insult to democracy and to the public.”
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