Slamming the BJP-led Central government over the raging Pegasus spying controversy, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that instead of democracy, espionage is going on in the country. She issued a call to all Opposition parties of the country to form a united front to fight against the BJP to “save democracy” in India.
Chief Minister Banerjee showed her phone on the stage and said that she was forced to “plaster” the camera of her phone. She said, “Our phones have been tapped. It’s a recorder. Pegasus is dangerous and ferocious; not letting people live peacefully. Dictatorship is going on in the country. I have plastered my phone. We should also plaster this Central government; otherwise the country will be destroyed.”
The manner in which the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader launched an attack on the Central government from the stage of Martyrs’ Day over the Pegasus issue is unprecedented. Picking up her phone, Mamata showed how she has covered the camera of her phone for fear that someone would intercept her. She claimed that she cannot talk to any anti-BJP chief minister for fear of this. Targeting the Centre, Mamata accused the government of attempts to convert the country into a surveillance state. She said, “Freedom is in danger. The BJP is responsible for this. They don’t even believe their ministers. They misuse all agencies.”
In her speech on Wednesday, Mamata spoke out against the Centre over the Pegasus scandal. “Remember, all of you and I have been tapped by Pegasus. You can also be spied upon when you are sleeping at home. What you eat can also be seen. Your brain is also being scanned,” said the TMC supremo. “The country’s democracy is in danger,” she said. “I don’t know what will happen in 2024. But we have to start preparing now, although I know we all have our phones tapped. I cannot talk to the Chief Minister of any state. Why should it be like that? ”
Chief Minister Banerjee also issued a call to all Opposition parties of the country to form a united front to fight against BJP to “save democracy” in India. “Opposition parties cannot afford to lose time and should start planning from now for the Lok Sabha polls in 2024,” she said. “Come together to form a united front. I will work together with you,” she added.
Going back to her clarion call of ‘Khela Hobe’ (Game is on), Banerjee said, “’Khela’ will happen in all states until BJP is removed from the country. We’ll celebrate ‘Khela Diwas’ on August 16. We will give footballs to poor children. Today, our freedom is at stake. BJP has endangered our liberty. They don’t trust their own ministers and misuse agencies.” Meanwhile, reacting to Mamata Banerjee’s allegations, BJP leader Shamik Bhattacharya reminded that Mukul Roy had accused the TMC of tapping phones when he went to the BJP. Bhattacharya asked: “Today he is back at the TMC. So, did Mukul lie that day?”
Speaking to reporters today, Bhattacharya said, «After joining the BJP, Mukul Roy gave an exclusive interview to a media outlet. There he showed his three phones and said, ‘I have done Singur, Nandigram, I have fought with the Left, but Buddhababu never tapped my phone.»
“Mamata Banerjee says her phone is being tapped. At one point, her right-hand man Mukul Roy, who came to our team, complained that his phone was tapped. He even went to court. This culture is not ours. TMC leaders don’t talk to anyone; they WhatsApp because they all know their phones are tapped. Mamata and her government use Pegasus software. So this false allegation on our party will not succeed in any way. Attempts are being made to discredit Modiji. They are trying to defame him politically, democratically.”