India

‘Listen to us’: Opposition tells govt. as it releases video of members speaking on Pegasus, farmers

The Opposition has also been strongly protesting against the price rise issue and demanding the repeal of the farm laws

Ahead of the concluding week of Monsoon session, Opposition parties on Sunday released a video on social media platforms in which they showcased their attempts to speak on the issues of Pegasus snooping controversy and farm laws and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “listen” to them.

The parties that are part of the collaborative effort includes Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK Samajwadi Party, Shiv Sena, Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), CPI (M), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Aam Admi Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

The video – first released by Trinamool Congress’ leader in the Rajya Sabah Derek O’Brien – set the tone for the Opposition’s strategy in the coming week even though Opposition parties will formally meet on Monday morning to decide their strategy in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

“Mr Modi, Come listen to us,” Mr O’Brien tweeted and tagged 10 Opposition parties including his own party.

“PM @narendramodi seems to have lost his nerves. Why is he not keen on answering questions in the Parliament? The opposition parties are ready for discussions in the Parliament, but @BJP4India Govt is stalling the proceedings so that the truth doesn’t get to the people,” said Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on twitter and tagged the three minute 45 seconds video.

Talking to The Hindu about the idea behind video, Mr O’Brien said, “When the voice of the entire Opposition is being censored daily in Parliament, we will innovate to communicate. We all agreed on a unique technique last week and there is more to come”.

The video is a compilation statements made by different Opposition MPs in the Upper House in the past three weeks with the words like “farmer” and “Pegasus” in the opening lines. Leaders indicated that merely disrupting the proceedings of the Parliament was not enough and it important for people to know that the “causes” for which the Opposition is fighting.

“You are not allowing the discussion we have been asking for the past 14 days and the discussions we can do later. You are passing that bill now. If you have courage, begin the discussions on Pegasus now,” Mr Kharge is heard saying in the video, a short clip of what he said on the floor of the House earlier.

In the video compilation, TMC’s Sukhendu Shekar Roy is heard raising the issue of “freedom of speech in Parliament”; RJD’s Manoj Jha alleging that “Pegasus has reached everyone’s house” and Congress’s Deepinder Hooda saying he would raise issues relating to farmers only if his “microphone is not switched off”.

Meanwhile, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, said, “The ECONOMIST magazine has reported that India is among ten countries that had, in all, a potential list of 50,000 telephone numbers out of which hundreds of numbers were infiltrated. NSO Group admitted to have 40 countries and 60 agencies as its clients. Ten of those countries used Pegasus spyware for spying. Was India one, is the question”.


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