Mamata launches all-out attack on Modi govt over Pegasus spyware, announces Khela Hobe Diwas
Showing her phone, the Bengal CM said that she has taped her cell phone camera due to Pegasus scandal
Kolkata, July 21: Mamata Banerjee launched a blistering attack on the Modi-led central government over the Pegasus spyware scandal on the annual Matryrs’ Day rally in Kolkata. She also slammed the BJP government on increasing fuel price and the mishandling of the Covid-19.
PM Modi on Martyr’s Day
While talking about the Pegasus row, Mamata alleged that the BJP wants to turn the country into a “surveillance state” instead of a democracy. Displaying her phone, she said that she has tapped the phone camera due to Pegasus scandal. “Our phones are tapped. Pegasus is dangerous and ferocious. I cannot talk to anyone. You are paying too much money for spying. I have plastered my phone. We should also plaster the Centre otherwise country will be destroyed. BJP has bulldozed federal structure,” she said, showing her phone. Mamata was speaking at the annual Martyr’s Day and it was live telecast across several states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
An international media consortium reported on Sunday that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including of two ministers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders besides scores of business persons and activists in India could have been targeted for hacking using Pegasus spyware.
Mamata’s appeal to SC
The TMC supremo also appealed to the Supreme Court to take suo-motu cognizance of the Pegasus row. “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 country,” she urged the SC.
She then attacks the Modi government over the rising petrol prices.
She accused the PM Modi’s government of spending tax money on spyware instead of people’s welfare. “Look at the petrol prices. The Government of India collected ₹ 3.7 lakh crore from fuel tax alone. Where is the money going?” she said.
Khela Hobe Diwas announced
Mamata then said that “khela” will take place in all states of India until BJP is removed from the country. In the 2021 West Bengal elections, Khela Hobe was the most popular slogan. Mamata said that Khela Diwas will be celebrated on August 16, a day after Independence Day and TMC will distribute footballs to poor kids.
She then also thanked the people of West Bengal for voting her party to power.
“We want to congratulate the people of the country and my state. We fought against money, muscle, mafia power and all agencies. Despite all odds, we won because people in Bengal voted for us and we received blessings from people in country, world,” she said.
Urges Opposition leaders to unite
Mamata also took pot shots at the Centre for the “monumental failure” while handling the Covid-19 pandemic. On TMC’s annual Martyrs’ Day, Mamata lashed out at the Centre over the Pegasus issue and accused it of tapping the phones of Opposition leaders, Ministers, judges, media and bureaucrats. She then urged Opposition parties to unite against BJP for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
Then, she made her national plans clear. The TMC had organized a mega campaign on Martyr’s Day to position itself at the national level.
The TMC chief said that she will be going to Delhi soon and if Sharad Pawar or P Chidambaram convened a meeting of Opposition leaders, she will attend it. Meanwhile, she also thanked Pawar and Supriya Sule of the NCP, Chidambaram and Digvijaya Singh of the Congress, Jaya Bachchan of the Samajwadi Party, Priyanka Chaturvedi of the Shiv Sena and others, who were present at the Constitutional Club in New Delhi, where her speech was telecast.
Mamata also said that democracy is in danger and though she doesn’t know what will happen in 2024 general elections, she said planning should be started from now on.