BJP should address snooping charges

The continued deadlock between opposition parties and the ruling BJP is disrupting the functioning of both the houses of parliament. Since the parliament convened on 19 July, the opposition has been demanding a discussion and an independent inquiry led by a Supreme Court judge – serving or retired – into reports that an Israeli spyware sold only to governments was used to hack phones of opposition leaders, judges, activists and even ministers. The government has dismissed these demands, saying that a statement read out in the parliament by IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav – one of the potential targets of hacking – was sufficient. The ruling BJP has laboured to label the snooping of the phones a ‘non-issue’.

However, the opposition parties have refused to relent. They termed the act antinational and sought investigation and also a discussion on the floor of the parliament. A media report quoting government sources has claimed that the continued deadlock is costing the taxpayers Rs 133 crores. It looks like the government is not making an effort to resolve the deadlock. Whenever such a situation arises, the onus always lies on the ruling government to resolve the deadlock. It cannot run away from its responsibilities. Stalling the parliament session does not augur well for a vibrant democracy like India.