While lashing out at Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi over his claim of being snooped on through Israeli spyware Pegasus, Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday, 3 March said it is his habit to raise unfounded allegations and ‘defame’ India on foreign shores.
The Union minister’s statement comes in the wake of Rahul Gandhi claiming, in a lecture at Cambridge University, that his phone was being spied on through Pegasus, and that he was warned by Intelligence officers to be “careful” about what he says during calls.
“I had Pegasus on my phone. A large number of politicians had Pegasus on their phones. I have been called by Intelligence officers who told me, ‘Please be careful about what you are saying on the phone because we are sort of recording the stuff,” the Congress leader said in his address.
“So this is the constant pressure that we feel. Cases on the Opposition. I have got a number of criminal liable cases for things that should under no circumstances be criminal liable cases. That’s what we are trying to defend,” added Rahul Gandhi.
Hitting back at Rahul, Thakur asked why he did not submit his phone for examination before the Supreme Court-appointed committee, which was set up to look into the snooping allegations against the government.
In his statement, Thakur said, “What was his compulsion that he could not submit his mobile phone (before the committee) to have it checked for Pegasus spyware? He is already on bail in a (National Herald) corruption case.
“What was there in his phone that he needed to hide? Why did he and other leaders (who Rahul claims were allegedly spied on) not submit their phones? It has become his habit to defame India on foreign shores.”