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Bugs at Gadkari row:Who did it?

Bugs at Gadkari row:Who did it?
Highlights

Bugs At Gadkari Row:Who Did It? The Home ministry on Monday rejected calls for a probe by opposition parties including Congress and Nationalist Congress party into a media report that “listening devices” had been planted at the residence of Union minister Nitin Gadkari, a former BJP president.

New Delhi: The Home ministry on Monday rejected calls for a probe by opposition parties including Congress and Nationalist Congress party into a media report that “listening devices” had been planted at the residence of Union minister Nitin Gadkari, a former BJP president.

"Mr Gadkari has himself called it speculation. If so, how can we intervene?" Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home said reportedly

The BJP and the Congress got into a political slugfest over the issue.

A media report claimed high-powered listening devices were found in the bedroom at Mr Gadkari’s 13 Teen Murti Lane residence. It said the discovery was “accidental” and a debugging exercise was immediately ordered.

Mr Gadkari tweeted, “Reports in a section of the media about listening devices having been found at my New Delhi residence are highly speculative.”

However, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy claimed that his “own investigations” and “sources” revealed that this (bugging) “may (have been planted) not later than October last year. At that time, when the UPA was in power, the (American) NSA had specifically targeted the BJP and Gadkari was a very important person. He had the confidence of the RSS.”

It could be recalled that earlier this month it was reported that as per a classified document, America’s NSA was authorised by a US court in 2010 to carry out surveillance on the BJP along with five other political parties in various countries. The document had allegedly been leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Using the opportunity to attack the BJP-led NDA, the Congress attacked the “recovery” of the devices and said it reflected the “lack of faith and mutual trust” among ministers of the NDA government.

Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “If reports of bugging are correct, they are indeed extremely serious. It reflects a certain lack of faith amongst ministerial colleagues and an absence of mutual trust. It’s time that both Gadkari and also the BJP and the government come clean on the issue and place before the people of the country if at all there was bugging and if there was snooping being done. All these issues need to be clarified both by the BJP as well as the Prime Minister and home minister in the larger interest of the people.”

Another senior Congress leader, Manish Tewari, asked how the information had appeared in the public space and if an inquiry has been ordered, the full facts should be laid on the floor of Parliament. Senior CPI leader D. Raja said it was a serious issue and wondered how anyone could have unauthorised access to Mr Gadkari’s private room.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh demanded an investigation into the report and asked government to explain the issue in Parliament.

"If ministers' houses are bugged, then it is not a good omen. It should be investigated. How can it happen? it should be explained by the government in the House," he told reporters at an Iftar function hosted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday.

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