Kolkata: Taking Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to task over the alleged hacking of phones using the Pegasus spyware, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday alleged that the ruling dispensation at the Centre had put her meetings with poll strategist Prashant Kishor under surveillance.
“I told you that a few days back I was in a meeting with Prashant Kishor and some others. They (the government) have cloned the meeting. Prashant Kishor got his phone audited and came to know that one of our meetings was known to them (government) through Pegasus spyware,” she told a press conference.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo said the Pegasus snooping issue is worse than the Watergate scandal.
The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal in the United States involving the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1974 that led to Nixon’s resignation.
Continuing her outburst against the government, Banerjee alleged the ruling dispensation does not trust its own people and is snooping on ministers and senior officials.
“The phones of some RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) leaders were also put under surveillance,” she alleged.
Asserting “they are tapping several phones”, the Chief Minister said: “For example, if they are tapping Prashant Kishor’s phone, they can clone my phone too. The phone that I use is now useless. Shall I keep it in deep fridge? Or shall I destroy it? Can this be a solution?”
“Pegasus spyware is a much bigger conspiracy. As a symbolic protest against this snooping, I have put plaster on my phone,” she added.
With the Opposition raising this matter prominently in Parliament on the first day of the ongoing Monsoon Session, the Centre had earlier categorically rejected in the Lok Sabha allegations of snooping on politicians, journalists and others using the Pegasus software.