West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday accused the Modi government of trying to establish a "surveillance state", and pitched for opposition unity to oust the "authoritarian" BJP government in the Lok Sabha polls. She also asked the Supreme Court to take cognisance of the Pegasus snooping scandal that purportedly targeted activists, politicians, journalists and even judges using spyware. The TMC supremo also accused the Centre of spending the money collected through tax on fuel and other commodities for spying using "dangerous software" instead of funding welfare schemes. Slamming the BJP-led NDA government for its "monumental failure" in handling the second wave of the COVID crisis, the TMC supremo termed the saffron party a "highly virus loaded party" which needs to be defeated at any cost.
"There are three important things in a democracy -- media, judiciary and the Election Commission -- and Pegasus has captured all three. I would appeal to the Supreme Court to come to the nation's aid. Save the country, save our democracy. Banerjee alleged that the money earned through steep fuel prices is being used to spy on judiciary, politicians, journalists and others. Her comments came amid the row over Israeli Pegasus spyware being allegedly used to snoop on hundreds of Indians."All those opposed to the BJP and its authoritarian regime should defeat it. BJP has taken the country to darkness. We all have to come forward to take it to new light," the Bengal leader said.