Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy — whose deputy and personal secretary were possible targets of Pegasus spyware when his alliance government with the Congress was on the brink of collapse — distanced himself from the controversy today.
“In this country, for several years, whoever is running the government, whoever the party, everybody is misusing the office to get some information… Or to safeguard their interests… This is going on. I am not interested in these issues,” Mr Kumaraswamy told the media.
“I am not interested because this issue is over,” he then said, adding that it would be better now to focus on people’s welfare when the country is struggling to contain Covid.
In 2019, as Mr Kumaraswamy’s government struggled to stay afloat as a series of MLAs quit, the phone numbers of his personal secretary, his Deputy G Parameshwara and the secretary of former chief minister Siddaramaiah were allegedly selected as potential targets, news portal
“The Wire” reported today.
Mr Siddaramaiah did not have a personal phone and only used the phones of his secretary.
The Congress has been up in arms since the news of spyware use broke two days ago.
“This is snooping to topple the democratic government of Karnataka,” said senior Congress leader KC Venugopal
“We complained at that time that we were under surveillance, all the leaders, Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and all others. They have done this in Madhya Pradesh. Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, his phone has been tapped… Who is safe in this country?” said Mr Venugopal.
Yesterday, the consortium of 17 media groups that investigated the leaked lists accessed by Amnesty International and Paris-based media non-profit Forbidden Stories, revealed that Congress’s Rahul Gandhi also was on the list ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said today that snooping on the phones of Chief Ministers, politicians, judges and people violates multiple laws of the country and is a threat to national security.