TMC plans sit-in at Parliament over alleged phone hacking
Trinamool Congress (TMC) lawmakers plan a sit-in against the alleged phone hacking of journalists, activists, opposition leaders, and ministers near the Gandhi statue at Parliament before it convenes on Tuesday.
Abhishek Banerjee, a TMC lawmaker, and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, and Prashant Kishore, who worked for the party as an election strategist, have been named among those who may have been targeted by Israeli phone hacking software, an international investigative consortium reported on Monday. The report sparked a political storm on the first day of the monsoon session.
TMC Member of Parliament Saugata Roy called the alleged snooping “shameful” and reflective of the authoritarian attitude of the Union government.
His party’s youth wing has called for state-wide protests against it on Tuesday.
To be sure, as the methodology of the investigation explains, the presence of a number does not indicate the individual’s phone was hacked — just that it was of interest. The government has denied any involvement.
On Monday, TMC lawmakers Derek O’Brien, Kalyan Bandyopadhyay, Arpita Ghosh, Nadimul Haque, Shantanu Sen, and Abir Ranjan Biswas protested against the rising fuel prices. The six arrived on bicycles for the first day of the Monsoon Session and raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Members of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) protested outside Parliament against the farm laws. “Why is the government not listening to farmers?” asked SAD leader Harsimrat Singh Badal.