Many might have found it funny that Indian National Congress (INC) General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra complained of her children’s hacked Instagram accounts as though it were an issue of public interest; the union government did not. Within days, her allegation that the hacking of the Instagram accounts of her children was an attempt by the Narendra Modi government to snoop not on politicians alone but also their families, sources in the Ministry of Information Technology said it is lodging a suo motu complaint to investigate the charges.
Sources said, however, the Gandhi-Vadra family had lodged no complaint officially and neither had there been any irregular activities or postings on the Instagram handles of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s children.
During her campaign in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had said the government had lost morality and was constantly attacking the opposition by way of raids, including those by the income tax department. “They are even hacking my children’s Instagram accounts, let alone phone tapping. Do they not have any other work?” she said in Lucknow the day before yesterday.
The INC leader’s accusation followed Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accusing the BJP government of tapping his phone. His allegation followed, in turn, the Central Board of Direct Taxes’ search operations at the houses of SP National Secretary Rajiv Rai and three others considered close to Yadav.
The opposition has been raking up the Pegasus software issue, demanding a probe by a joint parliamentary committee and alleging that the government was espying its own people. Currently, the matter is before the Supreme Court. The monsoon session of Sansad this year was lost in din because the opposition refused to let the houses function till the government allowed a debate on Pegasus.
The Pegasus row dates back to 18 July when a global collaborative investigative project revealed that Israeli company NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware targeted over 300 mobile phone numbers in India, including that of two serving ministers in the Modi government, three opposition leaders, one constitutional authority, several journalists and business personalities.