Patna: Known as the 'Chanakya' of Bihar with decades of experience in political maneuvering and plotting his next move for his own survival, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, sensing wind blowing against the Modi administration on the issue of Pegasus scandal, joined the opposition in its call for a full investigation in the alleged cellphone spying case.
Kumar, whose Janata Dal – U is al ally of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Center, demanded a high-level investigation into the Israeli spyware that was allegedly bought by the BJP to snoop on political opponents, journalists, and even High Court and Supreme Court judges’ cell phones to surreptitiously gain political advantages over them.
Talking to the reporters in Patna, the Chief Minister said that he condemned telephone tapping and snooping by the government adding the allegations must be investigated to bring the truth before the public.
The Pegasus scandal, the latest in many controversies facing the Modi government, was reported last month by a consortium of 17 media houses across the world leading to protests in the Lok Sabha where opposition leaders have paralyzed the proceedings until a high-level, independent probe is announced in the case.
Modi government has denied the allegations saying it is not involved in spying on political adversaries or anyone else.
Prominent among those whose names were made public by the consortium included the names of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, political strategist Prashant Kishore, TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee, BJP’s own IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, former Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, and nearly 30 Indian journalists representing various media houses, among others.
Kumar, who is said to be growing very weary with the BJP over continued suppression of the opposition’s voice and curtailment of civil rights, is getting ready for his next big act that is yet to be made public.