Mamata sets ball rolling for anti-BJP front, asks SC to set up SIT for snooping probe

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Mamata sets ball rolling for anti-BJP front, asks SC to set up SIT for snooping probe

Mamata sets ball rolling for anti-BJP front, asks SC to set up SIT for snooping probe  Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of wanting to turn the country into a “surveillance state”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday appealed to the opposition parties to unite against the BJP to oust the saffron party in the next Lok Sabha elections.  Mamata, who was making an online address on the Martyrs’ Day, urged NCP leader Sharad Pawar and Congress leader P Chidambaram to convene a meeting of opposition parties in Delhi next week to take forward the idea of constituting a united front.  She also asked the Supreme Court to take cognisance of the Pegasus snooping scandal that allegedly targeted activists, politicians, journalists and even judges using spyware. “There are three important things in a democracy —media, judiciary and the Election Commission — and Pegasus has captured all three,” said Mamata.  “Save the country, save our democracy. Can’t you (SC) take suo motu cognisance as all phones are tapped? Please set up a panel to probe. Only judiciary can save the country,” she said, appealing to the apex court to come to the nation’s aid.  The Chief Minister said she was unable to speak to Pawar, Chidambaram or other opposition leaders or chief ministers as all of them were allegedly being snooped and spied on by the Centre. “But snooping on us won’t save them in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” she said.  The Chief Minister said she would be coming to Delhi next week and if Chidambaram and Pawar could convene the meeting on July 27 or during the next two days, she would attend it and “talk about where the country was heading”.  Chidambaram and Pawar were among the opposition leaders who had assembled at the Constitution Club in New Delhi where the Trinamool Congress had organised live-screening of Mamata’s address from Kolkata. Others present included Samajwadi Party MPs Ram Gopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan; Manoj Jha (RJD), Priyanka Chaturvedi (Shiv Sena) and Balwinder Singh Bhunder (SAD).  Mamata alleged her phone was tapped too. “I cannot talk to Sharad Pawar, the Delhi Chief Minister or Odisha Chief Minister... I have put sticking plaster on my phone camera. This government (central) should be plastered too,” she said.  Attacking Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah over the scandal, she said, “Modiji, I have nothing against you personally. But you and your Home Minister are deploying (central) agencies against opposition leaders. You are misusing the agencies.”  Editors Guild demands urgent SC-led inquiry  New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India today demanded an urgent and independent inquiry under the aegis of the Supreme Court into the snooping charges. “We also demand that this inquiry committee should include people of impeccable credibility from different walks of life—including journalists and civil society—so that it can independently investigate facts around the extent and intent of snooping using the services of Pegasus,” the Guild said.

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of wanting to turn the country into a “surveillance state”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday appealed to the opposition parties to unite against the BJP to oust the saffron party in the next Lok Sabha elections.

Mamata, who was making an online address on the Martyrs’ Day, urged NCP leader Sharad Pawar and Congress leader P Chidambaram to convene a meeting of opposition parties in Delhi next week to take forward the idea of constituting a united front.

She also asked the Supreme Court to take cognisance of the Pegasus snooping scandal that allegedly targeted activists, politicians, journalists and even judges using spyware. “There are three important things in a democracy —media, judiciary and the Election Commission — and Pegasus has captured all three,” said Mamata.

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“Save the country, save our democracy. Can’t you (SC) take suo motu cognisance as all phones are tapped? Please set up a panel to probe. Only judiciary can save the country,” she said, appealing to the apex court to come to the nation’s aid.

The Chief Minister said she was unable to speak to Pawar, Chidambaram or other opposition leaders or chief ministers as all of them were allegedly being snooped and spied on by the Centre. “But snooping on us won’t save them in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” she said.

The Chief Minister said she would be coming to Delhi next week and if Chidambaram and Pawar could convene the meeting on July 27 or during the next two days, she would attend it and “talk about where the country was heading”.

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Chidambaram and Pawar were among the opposition leaders who had assembled at the Constitution Club in New Delhi where the Trinamool Congress had organised live-screening of Mamata’s address from Kolkata. Others present included Samajwadi Party MPs Ram Gopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan; Manoj Jha (RJD), Priyanka Chaturvedi (Shiv Sena) and Balwinder Singh Bhunder (SAD).

Mamata alleged her phone was tapped too. “I cannot talk to Sharad Pawar, the Delhi Chief Minister or Odisha Chief Minister… I have put sticking plaster on my phone camera. This government (central) should be plastered too,” she said.

Attacking Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah over the scandal, she said, “Modiji, I have nothing against you personally. But you and your Home Minister are deploying (central) agencies against opposition leaders. You are misusing the agencies.”

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Mamata sets ball rolling for anti-BJP front, asks SC to set up SIT for snooping probe

Editors Guild demands urgent SC-led inquiry

New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India today demanded an urgent and independent inquiry under the aegis of the Supreme Court into the snooping charges. “We also demand that this inquiry committee should include people of impeccable credibility from different walks of life—including journalists and civil society—so that it can independently investigate facts around the extent and intent of snooping using the services of Pegasus,” the Guild said.

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