In a week in which we’ve see a host of memes on Twitter, ranging from resorts to CTCs, Mamata Banerjee attended another potent contender in the mix – leucoplast! Even her most critics admit that Mamata Banerjee shows true oratorical flourish, peppering her speeches with everyday anecdotes that connect with the reader. And she was at it again when she launched a dual assault – on the leak scandal and WhatsApp imposition she said: “ Land phone bhi tap hai! Mobile bhi tap hai! To hum kya karega? Leukoplast Laga ke baitha rahega??? (The landphone is tapped. The Mobile is tapped. So, what should I do? Should I put Leukoplast?)
While Mamata’s furious tirade might seem alien to non-Bengalis, it’s quite common among midde-class Bengalis to threaten chatterboxes with the dire warning: “Stay quiet or we will put Leukoplast on your mouth.”
What Banerjee meant was whether one ought to become completely quiet if the government was indeed tapping phones, should one stop all work?
Leukoplast, for the uninitiated is a surgical adhesive tape company which is used to dress wounds and for dressings as band-aid. Banerjee’s oratorical flourish was a reminder of her love for everyman phrases that more erudite politicians fail to come up with.
She also alleged that she had evidence that the Centre was tapping her phones and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "take care" of the issue.
"It is a fact that Israel NSO has supplied this machine to the government. My phone was tapped and I know about it as I have the evidence with me," she told reporters here.
Reacting to the recent reports of WhatsApp admitting to a breach of privacy of users in India who were target of surveillance by operators using spyware Pegasus of Israeli company NSO, the West Bengal chief minister said that the central government was spying on politicians, media persons, lawyers, social activists and other important personalities.
"Government is using this Israel NSO to watch the activities of politicians, media persons, lawyers and judges, the IAS, IPS officers, social activists, and other important personalities. This is wrong you cannot capture the privacy. Whatsapp was safe but even now it listens to your talk and your messages are no longer safe. So no landline, mobile phones, and Whatsapp messages are safe. There is spying going on." "When government works it has to give instructions to its officials and sometimes this work is done after office hours but now when our messages are recorded then how our government will be able to give instructions to officials. I request the Prime Minister to take care of this issue," she said.
Mamata Banerjee said that she has heard that "the machine can be record messages and calls within 10 km range." On being asked whether she will go for a Supreme Court-monitored probe, she said, "We have respect for the Supreme Court. When everything is lost then justice comes from the top court, let us hope so."