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Anti-national, ban Amnesty, negative atmosphere: How BJP CMs, past and present, responded to charges

Several BJP Chief Ministers Tuesday defended the government in the wake of the Pegasus scandal, and targeted the Congress for stalling the house. A look at what some said:

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Adityanath said opposition parties were creating a “negative” atmosphere and stalling the Parliament proceedings over the Pegasus controversy. He also demanded that they apologise.

He said the the Opposition’s “negative attitude” did not allow issues on the common people to be raised in Parliament.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani

Criticising the Opposition Congress for “unnecessarily” creating a controversy over the Pegasus spyware before the start of the Monsoon Session, Rupani said the party has an “anti-national mindset”. A release from the chief minister’s office quoted Rupani as saying, “By becoming an instrument in the hands of foreign forces, Congress is damaging the reputation of the country.”

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

The BJP-led government, which helmed the state from 2014 to 2019, never availed the services of NSO Group — the Israeli firm behind the spyware Pegasus — for phone-tapping, leader of the Opposition in the state legislative assembly Fadnavis said on Tuesday.

Terming allegations made by the Congress and the NCP as baseless, Fadnavis said, “During my tenure as Chief Minister of Maharashtra, we had never availed the services of NSO.”

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Sarma demanded a ban on human rights group Amnesty International’s activities in India for its role in the Pegasus controversy. The BJP leader also claimed that the entire controversy was an “international conspiracy by the Left-wing organisations, including Amnesty International, “to defame the Centre.


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