New Delhi: Amid the controversy over the 'Pegasus Project' media report, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw will speak in Parliament on Thursday.
Earlier, on Monday, speaking in Lok Sabha Vaishnaw had said that there is 'no substance' in the media reports regarding the use of Pegasus on WhatsApp, adding that the reports were an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.
He also said that it cannot be a coincidence that the reports appeared a day before the commencement of the monsoon session of Parliament.
"A highly sensational story was published by a web portal last night. Many over-the-top allegations were made around this story. The press reports appeared a day before the monsoon session of Parliament. This can't be a coincidence," said the Minister about the Pegasus Project.
He said that in the past too, similar claims were made regarding the use of Pegasus on WhatsApp and those reports too had no factual basis and were denied by all parties.
"Press reports of July 18 also appear to be an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions," Vaishnaw had said.
In a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha, Vaishnav said that with several checks and balances being in place, "any sort of illegal surveillance" by unauthorised persons is not possible in India.
The statement assumes significance in the backdrop opposition parties creating a ruckus over the issue in both the Houses of Parliament on the first day of the Monsoon session.
The opposition has alleged that the names of several Indian politicians, journalists, lawyers, and activists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware. This comes following reports published in The Wire.