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Thursday, October 28, 2021
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Pegasus row: Storm in House, Opp says democracy in crisis, seeks SC judge probe

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The row over an alleged surveillance operation using the Pegasus spyware rocked Parliament Tuesday as the Opposition and some parties friendly to the ruling coalition, seeking answers from the government, disrupted proceedings in Lok Sabha and did not allow the treasury benches to transact any business for the second consecutive day — signalling that the first week of the Monsoon Session could be a washout.

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The Congress-led Opposition did, however, allow a discussion in Rajya Sabha on the Covid-19 pandemic situation — it led the debate — after the government agreed to its demand for a debate on the floor of the House ahead of a briefing outside Parliament on the Covid preparedness levels.

There were stormy scenes in Lok Sabha where members of the Congress, Trinamool Congress and DMK raised slogans, showed placards over the alleged snooping controversy – there was an uproar over this in Rajya Sabha as well.

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While YSRCP members raised issues like the Polavaram project and special status for Andhra Pradesh, members of the SAD and the AAP demanded that the government repeal the farm laws at the centre of an ongoing protest.

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A second list of possible targets of alleged surveillance using the Pegasus spyware, which was published Monday by digital news platform The Wire as part of a global collaborative investigation, included mobile phones of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, political strategist Prashant Kishor, among others.

The stage for an offensive was set before the House proceedings began Tuesday with some Opposition MPs staging a protest against the alleged snooping outside Parliament House and Congress members giving multiple adjournment motion notices on the issue in Lok Sabha and notices for discussion in Rajya Sabha.

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