Won't allow Parliament to function till Pegasus issue is discussed: Opposition parties

By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The Opposition parties have unanimously decided to continue with their protest in both the Houses of Parliament over the alleged use of spyware Pegasus by the Centre to track politicians, journalists, and other prominent persons.

Leaders of the Opposition parties in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha met on Tuesday morning before the Parliament proceedings started. It was agreed upon that the Centre should take up the issue of Pegasus.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has convened an all-party meeting Tuesday at 6 pm where top health ministry officials will give a presentation to some MPs on the matter. Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have decided not to attend the meeting.

The Congress demanded that the presentation should happen in Central Hall so that all the members could attend it. However, SAD said that they will boycott it pending their demand to repeal the three farm laws.

Congress Chief Whip in Lok Sabha K Suresh said that it has been decided that the Opposition will collectively continue to protest inside both the Houses on the matter from Thursday. Parliament is closed Wednesday on the occasion of Bakrid.

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Lok Sabha did not function on Tuesday while it was agreed upon in the Rajya Sabha to take up the short discussion on the management of the Covid pandemic.

“Discussion in Rajya Sabha was agreed upon under special circumstances keeping in mind the importance of the matter and not participating in the discussion would have projected the Opposition unsympathetic to people who have suffered due to pandemic,” said a senior Congress leader in Rajya Sabha.

The leader further said that the Business Advisory Committee under the Chairmanship of Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu agreed to take up the discussion earlier while the Pegasus report having named prominent political leaders being snooped by the government came later.   

“We will not allow the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha function till the Pegasus issue is discussed in the House. Today is different as Rajya Sabha took the discussion on Covid as the Centre does politics on the issue. Pegasus is the number 1 issue, it is a national security issue and no compromise on that,” said Derek O’Brien, TMC Rajya Sabha floor leader.

He said that repeal of three farm laws is also the topmost priority for the party and would continue pressing for the same in the Parliament.