TDP government had rejected Pegasus offer to sell spyware: Lokesh

Amaravati: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) General Secretary Nara Lokesh on Thursday revealed that the his party’s previous government in Andhra Pradesh had rejected the offer of Pegasus to sell its spyware to the state.

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Lokesh, who was Information Technology Minister in the TDP cabinet headed by his father N. Chandrababu 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 told reporters.

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Lokesh denied that the TDP government purchased or used any spyware. “We never indulged in any illegal phone tapping. If the government purchased the spyware, there would be a record of it.”

He was reacting to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s purported claim that the Chandrababu 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.

“I don’t know whether she has indeed said that, and where and in which context. If she did say that, she is certainly misinformed,” said Lokesh adding that Chandrababu Naidu would never indulge in such illegal acts.

“If there had been any such thing, would the (current) Jagan regime spare us? In the last three years, they have tried every trick to fix us in one thing or the other but failed, because we did nothing wrong,” said Lokesh, who is a member of the Legislative Council.

Lokesh further said that immediately after coming to power, Jagan Reddy had got all files in the IT and all other departments inspected thoroughly. He would have taken action if any illegal act was found, he added.

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