Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) on Friday demanded a probe into West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's allegation that the previous TDP government in the state had purchased spyware from Pegasus.

YSRCP spokesman and MLA Ambati Rambabu said the true colours of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) were exposed after Banerjee spilled the beans on Pegasus software. He demanded the Central and state governments probe the matter.

Mamata Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee

Banerjee categorically stated that Chandrababu Naidu-led government was in possession of the software, Rambabu told the media here on Friday.

He said the West Bengal Chief Minister revealed in the Assembly that the Andhra government had Pegasus software during Naidu's regime. Rambabu pointed out that she was neither a friend to the YSRCP nor an enemy to Naidu and in fact, they both were together as the Grand Alliance in 2019 elections.

The MLA said though the YSRCP didn't make any allegations on the TDP with regard to Pegasus software, the TDP was scared and reacted aggressively, raising doubts.

He said Naidu should condemn the statement of Mamata Banerjee and file defamation suit against her. "If he doesn't file the suit, this will amount to confessing that the TDP government purchased Pegasus software," he said.

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The MLA expressed doubt that Naidu might have bought spyware software through private entities rather than government institutions and alleged that he always indulged in unethical politics managing the institutions. He said the YSRCP had been saying that the TDP was tapping phones when it was in power and its proof has now come to light.

TDP General Secretary Nara Lokesh had said on Thursday that the TDP government had rejected the offer of Pegasus to sell its spyware to the state.

Lokesh, who was Minister for Information Technology in the TDP cabinet headed by his father Naidu, clarified that the TDP government did not purchase any spyware.

"Yes, Pegasus offered to sell its spyware to the AP government as well but we rejected it," he had told reporters.

He was reacting to Banerjee's purported claim that the Naidu government purchased the Pegasus spyware. "She was misinformed. If we had resorted to such things, Jagan Mohan Reddy would not have come to power in 2019," he said.