Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee called for the opposition to unite against the BJP today while speaking on the Pegasus scandal. Declaring it to be a “threat” to democracy by what she called a “surveillance state”, Ms. Banerjee stated that “three things make democracy — media, judiciary and the Election Commission — and Pegasus has captured all three.”
During an interaction with media on Martyrs Day, she has held the BJP responsible for the scandal. She also said that she would go to Delhi on July 27 or 28 and will be available for an opposition meeting. A number of opposition leaders heard her speech in Delhi and other cities where it was played live on giant television screens.
Calling the Israeli military-grade spyware “dangerous” and “ferocious”, Ms. Banerjee stated she cannot talk to other opposition leaders now as her phone is also tapped. “I cannot talk to you people. To Sharad Pawar, Delhi Chief Minister, Goa Chief Minister… I have put leucoplast on my (phone) camera. This government should also be plastered over,” Banerjee stated.
Ms. Banerjee’s nephew and senior party leader Abhishek Banerjee was also a potential target of surveillance, according to the group of 17 media organizations across the world that investigated the leaked surveillance lists.
In an apparent appeal to the Supreme Court to come to the nation’s aid, she said, “Save the country, the democracy. Can’t you take suo motu cognisance as all phones are tapped? Set up a panel to probe… Only judiciary can save the country”. Then in a ferocious attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said, “Mr. Modi, don’t mind. I am not attacking you personally. But you, and maybe the Home Minister, you are deploying agencies against opposition leaders. You are misusing the agencies.”