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Pegasus Revelations : Targets Include Rahul Gandhi, Prashant Kishor, Union Two Cabinet Ministers

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In a sensational revelation, Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel, as also former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa and poll strategist Prashant Kishor were among those whose phone numbers were listed as potential targets for hacking through an Israeli spyware sold only to the government agencies, an international media consortium reported.

The Wire news portal, in the second part of its revelations from the international collaborative investigation called the Pegasus Project, reported that the phone number of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee and 11 phone numbers belonging to the Supreme Court staffer and her close relatives, who accused former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment in April 2019, were selected as targets for surveillance.

The government dismissed the media reports on the use of Pegasus software to snoop on Indians, saying the allegations levelled just ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament are aimed at “maligning Indian democracy”.

In a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha, IT and Communications Minister Vaishnaw said that with several checks and balances being in place, “any sort of illegal surveillance” by unauthorised persons is not possible in India.

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