Parliament Updates: LS, RS adjourned till 22 July; PM's COVID-19 briefing with parties underway

Parliament Updates: LS, RS adjourned till 22 July; PM's COVID-19 briefing with parties underway

Parliament Updates: LS, RS adjourned till 22 July; PM's COVID-19 briefing with parties underway

18:45 (IST)

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Several parties attending meet with PM

18:36 (IST)

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PM's COVID-19 meet with MPs begins

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's COVID-19 briefing with MPs of several parties has begun. 

18:16 (IST)

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Rajya Sabha adjourned till 22 July

18:10 (IST)

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'We are prepared for third wave'

 

Wrapping up his reply in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the Centre is planning to to set up 1,573 oxygen plants of which 316 have already been commissioned.

He added that the Centre has already prepared a Rs 23,000 crore package on how to handle pandemic if the third wave comes and states have been asked to submit plans. "Money will be shared with them ASAP. We are prepared," Mandaviya concluded.

18:05 (IST)

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'Never asked anyone to show fewer cases or deaths'

"Centre compiles and publishes the data sent in by state govts. Our work is to publish that data and nothing else. We haven't told anyone to show fewer numbers (of deaths) or fewer positive cases. There's no reason for that. Prime Minister had said the same in meetings with CMs," said  health minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Rajya Sabha.

'

17:57 (IST)

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'Wrong to predict kids will be worst affected in 3rd wave'

 

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said predictions that children will be worst affected in the third COVID-19 wave are incorrect. He also said that children have seen the lowest infection rate during the previous waves.

 

17:51 (IST)

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Getting 11-12 cr doses from SII per month, says health minister

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the Centre is receiving 11 12 crore vaccine doses from SII every month. Bharat Biotech is working hard, we will get 2.5 crore doses in July, 3 crore doses in August. "The process takes time. We asked Bharat Biotech to transfer tech to other companies and some PSUs will also enter MOU," he added.

17:45 (IST)

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Many states have 10-15L doses of vaccines, says health minister

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "When there's need to work together and implementation has to be done by the states, at that time we never said that this state failed or that state didn't do this. I don't want to do politics but many states have 10-15 lakh doses of vaccines with them, I have data."

17:40 (IST)

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PM's guidance can save us from third wave, says health minister

17:37 (IST)

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'How could we hide numbers?'

 

"Many have accused the Centre of hiding death figures. But how could we hide the numbers? The numbers were given by the states. We even let the back logged numbers to be registered," Mandaviya said.

17:31 (IST)

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Lockdown imposed so we could prepare, says health minister

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said lockdown was imposed so that supplies could be arranged. "We had seen how developed countries had suffered, wanted to avoid that," he added.

17:26 (IST)

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Crisis shouldn't become a reason for politics, says health minister


Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "Our government has always said that this crisis shouldn't become a reason for politics. There shouldn't be politics in this crisis...Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that when 130 crore people of India take one step forward, the country can move forward by 130 crore steps."

17:05 (IST)

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Centre says no deaths due to lack of oxygen specifically reported by states, UTs

No deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states and Union territories during second the second wave of COVID-19, the Centre said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

16:50 (IST)

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Virus is enemy, says Hardeep Singh Puri

Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the government and system were not the enemy. The country's enemy is the coronavirus, he added.

16:47 (IST)

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Sanjay Raut accuses govt of hiding data 

The Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said that reports pegged the COVID-19 toll as higher than that of the government's official figures. "Tell us, how many people have lost their lives due to COVID," Raut said in the Rajya Sabha.

 

16:32 (IST)

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Mansukh Mandaviya to make reply in RS around 5 pm

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya is expected to make a reply to the debate in the Rajya Sabha on COVID-19 around 5 pm today.

16:28 (IST)

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Congress, SAD won't attend PM's COVID-19 briefing

The Congress will not be attending the Centre's COVID-19 meet on Tuesday. Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge said the Congress asked for all MPs to be called in Central Hall instead of just the Floor Leaders. This after SAD chief Sukhbir Badal told ANI his party SAD would be boycotting the briefing.

The government has called the meeting of floor leaders of all parties on the COVID-19 management. The health secretary is expected to make a presentation in the meeting, which is likely to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

16:07 (IST)

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Shiv Sena, TMC, DMK to attend PM's COVID-19 briefing

The Shiv Sena will be represented in the briefing by its MP Vinayak Raut, while Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien will attend the meet on the behalf of the TMC. Earlier, Sukhbir Badal told ANI his party SAD would be boycotting the briefing.

15:57 (IST)

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Kharge on PM's COVID-19 briefing

Congress MP Mallikarjun Kharge said the Congress asked for all MPs to be called in Central Hall instead of just the Floor Leaders. "Everyone must be spoken to. We had said that this be done in two slots. We're not attending it as everyone should get to know," Kharge added.

15:44 (IST)

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'Raise health ministry budget'

 

In the Rajya Sabha, Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav urged the Centre to raise the budget of Health Ministry and build infrastructure for future challenges. 

15:36 (IST)

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'Shortage of vaccines in country': Raut

In the Rajya Sabha, the Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said that there is a shortage of vaccines in the country and that this is not a political issue. "One health minister has alread been made a scapegoat. We have all lost a loved one," Raut added.

15:31 (IST)

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SAD to boycott PM's COVID briefing

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal told ANI the party will be boycotting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's COVID-19 briefing. Badal added that it will only be attended after the prime minister calls a meet to discuss farm issues.

15:12 (IST)

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Lok Sabha adjourned till 22 July

Proceedings in the Lok Sabha have been adjourned till 11 am on 22 July after the Opposition continued to create a ruckus in the House.

14:59 (IST)

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'Need to spread vaccine awareness'

The AIADMK's M Thambidurai, addressing the Rajya Sabha on COVID-19, said that while vaccines can't be made mandatory there is a need to spread awareness.

14:48 (IST)

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Cooperation between Centre and states paramount, says BJD's Amar Patnaik 

Addressing the Rajya Sabha, the BJD's Amar Patnaik said cooperation between centre and states is paramount and that the everyone was taken by surprise by the pandemic

 

14:37 (IST)

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Santanu Sen hits out at Centre

The TMC's Santanu Sen claimed that the Centre took unilateral decisions on COVID-19, that there was no preparedness for the second wave and that the government bought faulty testing kits from China.

14:26 (IST)

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LS adjourns till 3 pm

 

The Lok Sabha briefly reassembled and then was adjourned till 3 pm amid uproar.

14:04 (IST)

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Mallikarjun Kharge slams Centre

 

"Lockdown was announced overnight, just like demonatisation. Government didn't prepare for it. There were no trains for people to go back home. Livelihood of people was impacted. Government should be held accountable," Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, said as per ANI

14:02 (IST)

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Mallikarjun Kharge speaks

 

"I pay tribute to COVID warriors including doctors and paramedics," Mallikarjun Kharge said. "I salute people who helped others by running 'oxygen langer' in Delhi during second wave of COVID19. I also want to salute plasma donors, who came out in support," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha added.

13:58 (IST)

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Shiv Sena seeks JPC probe into Pegasus reports

Shiv Sena MPs Vinayak Raut, Gajanan Kirtikar, Arvind Sawant, Sadashiv Lokhande, Krupal Tumane, Dhairyasheel Mane and Balu Dhanorkar on Tuesday submitted a memorandum to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seeking a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 'Pegasus Project' media reports.

13:55 (IST)

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Shiv Sena's Raut slams BJP

"Had it been UPA's government in power, BJP would have created ruckus in the country," Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut told ANI. "They would not have let the House run smoothly. We also demand a probe by Joint Parliamentary Committee. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah should tell the truth."

13:37 (IST)

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Need for impartial inquiry to fix responsibility: Mayawati on Pegasus report

BSP president Mayawati on Tuesday termed the Pegasus snooping incident as a "very serious matter" and demanded an impartial inquiry into it for fixing responsibility.

The dirty game of espionage and blackmailing is not a new thing, but breaching privacy with the help of very expensive equipments, minutely spying on ministers, opposition leaders, officers and journalists, etc. is a very serious matter. There is sensation across the country after it has been busted, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said in a tweet in Hindi.

In a related tweet, she said, The clarifications, refutations and arguments of the Centre in this connection have failed to satisfy the people."

Due to the seriousness of the matter, it would be good for the government and the country that an independent and impartial inquiry gets conducted at the earliest so that responsibility could be fixed, Mayawati added.

-PTI

13:23 (IST)

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Rajya Sabha adjourned for third time today, till 4 pm

The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned, for the third time today, till 4 pm, as sloganeering from Opposition disturbed proceedings of the Upper House

13:18 (IST)

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RS reassembles, takes up discussion on COVID-19

Proceedings resume in Rajya Sabha after Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh gives consent to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country.

"We thought COVID-19 will be short-lived. But that was not the case. Not only the second wave, now we are expecting a third wave. The Spanish Flu caused 50,000 deaths. It is quite clear that we are facing a long-drawn struggle," said BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta, initiating a discussion on the pandemic

13:14 (IST)

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Pegasus is a serious national security concern, says Shashi Tharoor

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor slammed the Centre over the Pegasus row. "It has been proved that phones examined in India had an invasion of 'Pegasus Project'. Since this product is only sold to vetted governments, the question arises which government? If the government of India says they haven't done it, some other government did it, then it's a more serious national security concern," he told ANI.

"If it turns out that it's our government and it's authorized (to do it), GoI needs to give an explanation as the law only permits the interception of communication for issues of national security, terrorism; otherwise, it's illegal. Essential for govt to cooperate in a probe," he added.

13:03 (IST)

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Centre's response to Pegasus report 'disappointing', says Congress MP

The Congress termed the government's response to the Pegasus surveillance report as "disappointing". Speaking to news agency ANI, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said: "Instead of ordering a probe under judicial oversight, GoI is defending NSO."

The former IT Minister had said in Parliament that an enquiry has been done into NSO by CERT-In. "What happened to that probe?," he asked.

12:57 (IST)

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PM to address RS on COVID-19 situation 

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the Upper House on the COVID-19 situation in the country, reports the Hindustan Times. Meanwhile, Opposition parties will meet at 2 pm to decide on whether to attend the prime minister’s briefing, reports ANI.

12:41 (IST)

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Congress, AAP 'double-faced,' do not care about farmers, says Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Shiromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday hit out at Opposition parties like Congress and the AAP, saying they do not care about farmers and are “double-faced.”

"The parties raised all issues in Parliament, except farmers’ issues," Badal said. She said that SAD is the only party talking about the farm bills.

12:36 (IST)

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#WATCH | Congress MP DK Suresh cycles to Parliament in protest against fuel price hike

12:25 (IST)

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COVID-19 pandemic not political but humanitarian issue: PM to BJP MPs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the COVID-19 crisis is not a political but a humanitarian issue and asserted that the government has ensured no one goes hungry during the pandemic.

Such a pandemic has been witnessed by the world after a very very long time, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi quoted the prime minister as telling MPs at the BJP's parliamentary party meeting. The prime minister also said that it was ensured not a single poor person "sleeps" hungry, Joshi told reporters.

Modi stressed that despite the pandemic, a huge population got ration, and told BJP MPs that providing relief to the people was their responsibility and not a favour, according to Joshi.

-PTI

12:18 (IST)

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Rajya Sabha adjourned till 1 pm within minutes of reconvening 

"All leaders met with chairman as they wanted to have a discussion on COVID-19. Rajya Sabha Chairman has given his consent. It will be discussed at 1 pm," Harivansh Dy Chairman Rajya Sabha before announcing that the Upper House has been adjourned till 1 pm.

12:16 (IST)

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Rajya Sabha reassembles

Rajya Sabha reassembles at noon. Deputy Chairperson Harivansh is in the Chair. As soon as Harivansh proceeds with Question Hour, Opposition MPs jump into the well of the House. 

11:48 (IST)

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Negative publicity by Opposition is sad: PM Modi 

In the parliamentary meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hits out at the Congress. He said that the negative publicity by the Opposition was "sad". Speaking on the issue of COVID-19 vaccines, he said that we have enough number of vaccines.

11:25 (IST)

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Adjournment notices given by Opposition in Rajya Sabha today

1) Demanding to implement assurance of conferring Special category status to Andhra Pradesh by YSRCP

2) Regarding alleged shortage of COVID-19 vaccination in the country by AITC

3) Regarding farmers' protest and demanding withdrawal of farm Bills by SAD

4) Demanding discussion on farmers' agitation by Congress, SP and RJD

5) Regarding issue of delay in releasing funds for completing Polavaram Project in Andhra Pradesh by YSRCP

6) Demanding inquiry by JPC in Pegasus spyware issue by AITC

11:23 (IST)

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Adjournment notices given by Opposition in Lok Sabha today:

1) Regarding discussion on Pegasus spyware by Congress, AITC, CPM, RSP and IUML

2) Demanding to withdraw recently enacted firm laws by Congress and SAD

3) Regarding new administrative rules imposed in Lakshadweep by Congress and NCP

4) Regarding demolition of church by DDA by Congress

5)  Regarding discussion on distribution of vaccines in the country by AITC

6) Regarding to accord the investment clearance for revised estimate for completion of Kharif crops by YSRCP

7) Regarding construction of Mekedatu Dam issue by CPU

8) Demanding to discuss rise in fuel prices by CPM

9) Regarding alleged Chinese occupation in Indian territory by AIMIM

11:16 (IST)

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No link between Pegasus report and govt: Prahlad Joshi

No iota of link between government and Pegasus issue. Still, if they (Opposition) want to raise the issue through proper procedure, let them raise it. IT Minister has already issued a statement on the issue, said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi.

11:11 (IST)

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Opposition to raise Pegasus spyware row in both Houses

The Opposition parties, including Congress, TMC, RJD, DMK, held a meeting at Parliament on Tuesday and decided to raise Pegasus issue in both the Houses.

10:59 (IST)

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What lies ahead in the day?

- A BJP Parliamentary Party meeting was held on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance at 9.30 am.
- Prime Minister Modi will a meeting with floor leaders of all the parties of both the houses at 6 pm on the country's vaccine policy
- Opposition leaders to hold a meeting to take a final call on attending COVID-19 briefing for floor leaders in the morning
- In Rajya Sabha, IT Min Aswini Vaishnaw will make a statement in Rajya Sabha on Pegasus spyware issue at 11 am
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will lay on the Table, a statement showing the Supplementary Demands for Grants, 2021-22 in the Upper House and in the Lower House

10:58 (IST)

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Congress raise Pegasus issue in Parliament: Kharge

We will raise this (Pegasus) issue. Nobody is obstructing nation's development, it's the BJP who have obstructed it. They have earned lakhs and crores of money by imposing cess, hiking fuel price, wasting money on projects, said Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.

10:46 (IST)

Parliament LATEST Updates:

Bill for Consideration and Passing in Rajya Sabha

- Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021

Parliament Monsoon Session 2021 LATEST updates: Wrapping up his reply in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the Centre is planning to to set up 1,573 oxygen plants of which 316 have already been commissioned

Addressing the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the Centre is receiving 11 12 crore vaccine doses from SII every month.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said lockdown was imposed so that supplies could be arranged

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "Our government has always said that this crisis shouldn't become a reason for politics. There shouldn't be politics in this crisis...Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that when 130 crore people of India take one step forward, the country can move forward by 130 crore steps."

Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the government and system were not the enemy. The country's enemy is the coronavirus, he added.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya is expected to make a reply to the debate in the Rajya Sabha on COVID-19 around 5 pm today.

The Shiv Sena will be represented in the briefing by its MP Vinayak Raut, while Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O'Brien will attend the meet on the behalf of the TMC. Earlier, Sukhbir Badal told ANI his party SAD would be boycotting the briefing.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal told ANI the party will be boycotting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's COVID-19 briefing. Badal added that it will only be attended after the prime minister calls a meet to discuss farm issues.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said that there is a shortage of vaccines in the country and that this is not a political issue. "One health minister has alread been made a scapegoat. We have all lost a loved one," Raut added.

The Lok Sabha has adjourned till 22 July. Tomorrow will be a holiday on account of Eid.

The AIADMK's M Thambidurai, addressing the Rajya Sabha on COVID-19, said that while vaccines can't be made mandatory there is a need to spread awareness.

The TMC's Santanu Sen claimed that the Centre took unilateral decisions on COVID-19, that there was no preparedness for the second wave and that the government bought faulty testing kits from China.

"I pay tribute to COVID warriors including doctors and paramedics," Mallikarjun Kharge said. "I salute people who helped others by running 'oxygen langer' in Delhi during second wave of COVID19. I also want to salute plasma donors, who came out in support," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha added.

Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha proceedings were till 4 pm and 2 pm respectively on Tuesday after uproar by Opposition members over various issues including the Pegasus snooping issue and COVID-19.

Proceedings resume in Rajya Sabha after Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh gives consent to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country.

"All leaders met with the chairman as they wanted to have a discussion on COVID-19. Rajya Sabha Chairman has given his consent. It will be discussed at 1 pm," said Harivansh, Dy Chairman of RS

In the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, a stormy second day on Tuesday can be expected with the Pegasus spyware row being gleefully lapped by the Opposition to corner the treasury benches.

Pegasus spyware row

The Trinamool MPs staged a dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament and also submitted notices to discuss issue in both Houses. Abhishek Banerjee MP, Trinamool’s all-India general secretary, among those whose phone was allegedly hacked.

The issue of "snooping" using Pegasus spyware snowballed into a massive political row in Parliament and outside as various parties demanded a thorough investigation and sacking of Home Minister Amit Shah, while the government maintained it had nothing to do with it.

Both TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy and AAP MP Sanjay Singh have given a notice in Rajya Sabhe under Rule 267, seeking suspension of all business to discuss the Pegasus issue and Zero hour Notice in Rajya Sabha over Pegasus issue respectively.

"I hereby give notice of my intention to ask for leave to move a motion for the adjournment of the business of the house for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent importance. Reports have pointed out that the Government of India has procured the surveillance tool Pegasus developed by Israeli company NSO group for surveillance of journalists, Civil Society Activists, Politicians and Supreme Court Judges. It should be noted that this kind of surveillance classifies as hacking, which is what a spyware does and it would very much qualify as “unauthorised interception” or hacking as per Information Technology Act, 2000. The fact is that the government has not categorically denied that Pegasus has been used officially. Sir this is a matter of grave concern and therefore I wish to raise the same," Congress MP from Ludhiana Manish Tewari wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker seeking an adjournment motion on the issue.

The Congress accused the government of "treason" and held Shah responsible for the snooping and hacking of phones of journalists, judges and politicians, and demanded a probe into the "role of the prime minister" in the entire matter as well.

The demand for a probe came from opposition parties, including the Congress, TMC, NCP, Left parties, RJD and Shiv Sena.

The BJP hit back at the Congress and claimed "there is not a shred of evidence" to link either the ruling party or the Modi dispensation with the matter.

BJP leader and former IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the credentials of those behind the story as well as its timing, coming a day before Parliament's Monsoon Session that began on Monday, as he accused the opposition party of hitting a "new low" in making baseless allegations.

The government, on its part, categorically rejected the charges, with IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw asserting in the Lok Sabha that illegal surveillance was not possible with checks and balances in the country's laws, and alleged that attempts were being made to malign Indian democracy. Vaishnaw's name also figures in the list.

Home Minister Amit Shah also lashed out at the opposition Congress and international organisations, saying such "obstructers" and "disrupters" will not be able to derail India's development trajectory with their conspiracies.

The issue also rocked Parliament, where opposition parties raised the issue and disrupted proceedings of both Houses. Several opposition members gave adjournment notices to discuss the issue, but were rejected by the chair.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter, saying, "We know what he's been reading -- everything on your phone." Gandhi wrote this as a reply to his own tweet two days ago in which he had asked people, "I'm wondering what you guys are reading these days."

What lies ahead in the day?

  • A BJP Parliamentary Party meeting was held on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in attendance at 9.30 am.
  • Prime Minister Modi will a meeting with floor leaders of all the parties of both the houses at 6 pm on the country's vaccine policy
  • Opposition leaders to hold a meeting to take a final call on attending Covid briefing for floor leaders in the morning
  • In Rajya Sabha, IT Min Aswini Vaishnaw will make a statement in Rajya Sabha on Pegasus spyware issue at 11 am
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will lay on the Table, a statement showing the Supplementary Demands for Grants, 2021-22 in the Upper House and in the Lower House