Pegasus Spyware: Modi on a sticky wicket

Sun Jul 25 2021 08:19:17 GMT+0530 (IST)

The Pegasus spy software issue has been rocking the country and the Parliament for the last one week. The opposition is insisting on a probe and the Government is finding itself in the dock for spying on journalists, intellectuals, civil society organizations, opposition and even government MPs and ministers. This is turning out to be a huge embarrassment for the BJP.

Though the BJP has been arguing that this is nothing but a storm in a teacup, the opposition is unrelenting. The latest revelations about the allocations to the National Security Council. The allocation for the NSC was Rs 17.43 crore in 2011-12, while in 2012-13, it was Rs 20.23 crore and in 2012-13, it was Rs 25.05 crore.

After Modi became the Prime Minister, the allocations suddenly rose. However, they were still in two digits. In 2014-15, the allocations were Rs 25 crore. In 2016-17, it rose to Rs 33 crore. But, since 2017-18, the allocations rose sharply. That year, the allocations were Rs 333 crore. Why were the allocations increased so dramatically?

Sources say that this additional fund could have been used to strike a deal with Pegasus. Even Subramanya Swamy is vouching for it. The allegations of phone hacking began only after these allocations. The Central Government needs to answer if these additional allocations were used to purchase Pegasus spy software? Where is the need to suddenly raise the allocations by Rs 300 crore.

The government has to explain this abnormal increase in allocations and as to why the phone hacking allegations came up soon after the  allocations rose? Sources say, the Modi Government is finding itself increasingly cornered on this issue.