BJP attacks Congress over disruptions in Parliament

Updated: few hours ago

New Delhi, Aug 5 (PTI) The BJP on Thursday hit out at the Congress over the continued disruption of Parliament proceedings due to the opposition protests on the Pegasus issue, and claimed there is no "prima facie evidence" to suggest that certain phone numbers were indeed tapped.  Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press conference here that his party is ready for a "meaningful" debate in Parliament be it on the Pegasus issue or those concerning farmers.  He, however, added that the opposition could have sought clarification from IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw when he made a statement on the snooping controversy in Parliament which would have led to a debate but its members, he noted, instead tore the statement.  Prasad alleged that it is not the Congress' value to respect Parliament, and the opposition party would allow it to function only so long as it "subserves" the interests of the family.  He claimed that people who are "hostile" to the Modi government and has an obvious anti-Modi agenda are behind the Pegasus snooping controversy, and it was timed deliberately ahead of the beginning of Parliament's Monsoon session.  "Is there any prime facie evidence that (phone) numbers were indeed put under surveillance," Prasad asked, noting that Justice Arun Mishra, who retired from the Supreme Court in September 2020 and is now chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, has said a mobile number of his allegedly put under surveillance was surrendered by him way back in 2014.

The latest Pegasus story had named Mishra as among those who might have been targeted by the snooping spyware.  The fact is, Prasad said, the Congress has not been able to reconcile to Narendra Modi being the prime minister and that the BJP keeps winning under his leadership while the opposition party has been stumbling from one defeat to another.  With opposition parties pointing out that the BJP had also stalled Parliament when the Congress-led UPA was in power, Prasad sought to draw a distinction saying that the then government denied alleged scams involving 2G spectrum allocation and auction of coal blocks.  The Supreme Court had quashed the 2G allocations, he noted.  The ongoing disruption of Parliament has cost over Rs 130 crore, Prasad noted.