Opposition likely to raise Pegasus, farm laws, petrol, diesel hike | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack


The Opposition parties are likely to bring up various topics, including the new farm laws, the Pegasus hack media report, fuel price hike and the coronavirus pandemic, as the Monsoon Session of Parliament begins on Monday, reported NDTV. The proceedings in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will start at 11 am.

Communist Party of India Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam has moved a suspension of business notice in the House on the revelations of the Pegasus spyware media reports.

On Sunday, The Wire reported that phone numbers of Indian ministers, Opposition politicians, journalists, activists among others are listed on a leaked database that reportedly reflects potential targets of illegal cyber surveillance using the Pegasus hacking software.

Forensic tests revealed that at least some of those named on the list had their phones hacked by the spyware that Israeli company NSO Group has said it only sells to “vetted governments”.

Congress MP Manish Tewari said that he has listed a Bill called the Intelligence Services (Powers and Regulation), Bill 2011, “to check unauthorised surveillance by intelligence agencies”. He added that he had introduced the proposed legislation in 2011.

Tewari and Congress MP Jasbir Singh Gill also moved adjournment notices in the Lok Sabha on the new farm laws, reported ANI. In Rajya Sabha, Communist Party of India (Marxist) MPs Elamaram Kareem and Dr V Sivadasan have given a suspension of business notice to discuss the farmers’ protest.

Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress has submitted six notices in both Houses to discuss the increasing fuel prices], agriculture laws, Covid-19 vaccination programme, decline in economic growth, restoration of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme funds and a weakening federal structure, according to NDTV.

Many Trinamool Congress MPs will cycle to Parliament in protest against the rise in prices of petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas, reported News18. Congress leader Manickam Tagore has submitted an adjournment notice to discuss fuel price hike and inflation. Petrol prices have crossed Rs 100 in Delhi and many other cities.

Rashtriya Janata Dal Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha gave a suspension of business notice to discuss “obfuscation of data related to deaths on account of the second wave of Covid-19”.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will introduce the newly inducted Union ministers to both the Houses. This is in accordance with a convention after a new government is formed or the Union Council of ministers is reshuffled.

On July 7, as many as 43 leaders were inducted into the Cabinet, taking the number of members in the Union Council of Ministers to 78.

On Sunday, Opposition parties had also objected to the Centre’s offer for a joint address to all MPs by Modi on Covid-19. They had said the move was aimed at bypassing the norms of Parliament.

“Just when we thought that they cannot go lower, they want to make a presentation in the annex and not on the Floor of the House,” TMC Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien said during an all-party meeting.

The government has also listed 17 bills to introduce during the session, reported The Times of India. Of this, three are meant to replace ordinances issued earlier, including the Essential Defence Services Ordinance 2021. This ordinance prohibits any agitation or strike by personnel of the armed forces.

Further, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has reconstituted the party’s parliamentary groups ahead of the Monsoon Session. Tewari and MP Shashi Tharoor, who were part of the G-23, the group that wrote to Gandhi last year to demand a complete revamp of the party, will be in the Congress’ seven-member group in the Lok Sabha.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will continue to serve as the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha. Gaurav Gogoi was retained as the deputy leader in the lower house of the Parliament. MP K Suresh will be the party’s chief whip in the Lok Sabha.

The Monsoon Session will conclude on August 31. This will be the first full session of Parliament since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in January last year.

Since then, three Parliament sessions were curtailed, while the Winter Session was cancelled. The Monsoon Session, which usually begins in July, had started in September due to the coronavirus pandemic.





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