Business International Nation

Pegasus row: BJP hits back at Rahul Gandhi over phone tapping remark, asks him to submit his mobile for investigation

New Delhi: After Congress MP Rahul Gandhi alleged all his phones were tapped using Pegasus spyware, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday (July 23) said that he should submit his phone for investigation if he believes it was tapped, PTI reported.

Addressing mediapersons, BJP spokesperson Rajyavardhan Rathore said, “Gandhi should submit his phone to a probe agency, and investigation will take place according to the Indian Penal Code (IPC).”

He added, “We will now wait for Rahul Gandhi to deposit his phone for investigation to proceed.”

Earlier in the day, Gandhi had alleged all his phones were tapped and demanded the resignation of Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah over Pegasus snooping row.

The former Congress chief told reporters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah “used the Pegasus spyware against India and its institutions.”

“Pegasus is classified by the Israeli state as a weapon and that weapon is supposed to be used against terrorists. The prime minister and the home minister have used this weapon against the Indian state and our institutions. They have used it politically, they have used it in Karnataka,” he said. He also demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the matter, reported.

Reacting to Gandhi’s comments, Rathore said they were “irresponsible” and asserted no one’s phone has been tapped illegally by the Modi government.

An international consortium under “Pegasus project” has revealed that the numbers of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, other opposition politicians, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, two union ministers, Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee and some 40 journalists were selected as potential targets of snooping. However, it could not be established that all numbers found on the leaked database were hacked.

The Centre on Sunday (July 18) rejected the media reports and termed the allegations “false and malicious”. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that there has been “no unauthorised interception by government agencies.”