Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday issued a clarion call to all Opposition parties to form a united front.
Addressing the Martyrs’ Day rally via virtual mode from Kolkata — Opposition leaders such as Sharad Pawar, P Chidambaram, Digvijaya Singh, Ram Gopal Yadav, Manoj Jha, Tiruchi Siva, Supriya Sule, Sanjay Singh, K Keshava Rao, Jaya Bachchan were among those present at the Constitution Club in New Delhi ahead of her address — Banerjee appealed to the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of alleged surveillance using the Pegasus spyware.
Calling the spyware “dangerous” and “ferocious”, she said: “Pegasus is dangerous. They are harassing people… Spygiri is going on. Phones of ministers, judges are being tapped. They have finished the democratic structure. Pegasus captured the election process, the judiciary, ministers and media houses. Instead of a democratic state, they want to convert it into a surveillance state.”.
She alleged that the government was snooping on Abhishek Banerjee (her nephew and MP) and Prashant Kishor (poll strategist) — their names figured in a list of possible targets of alleged surveillance using the Pegasus spyware, which was published by digital news platform The Wire as part of a global collaborative investigation.
Appealing to the Supreme Court, she said: “Save the country, save democracy. Can’t you take suo motu cognisance as all phones are tapped? Set up a panel to probe… Only the judiciary can save the country.”.
She called upon all Opposition parties to unite against the BJP. “Ek saath hoke gathbandhan taiyaar karein, aage bade, mein aap logo ke saath ek hoke, worker ke maafik, ek saath ladenge (Unite to form a coalition, step forward. I will be with you, let us fight like workers).” She said there was no time to waste in planning for the next general elections. “I will be in Delhi next week and I want to meet Opposition leaders during the ongoing Parliament session. I propose you call a meeting of Opposition leaders between 26 and 28 of this month. We are keen to attend,” she said. Giving a twist to her Assembly election victory slogan ‘khela hobe‘, she said: “One game has happened in Bengal and another game is afoot. We will declare August 16 as Khel Divas in Bengal.”