The issue of alleged bugging at Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s residence rocked Parliament on Wednesday with Congress alleging that the methods used in Gujarat to keep tabs on ministers and MPs were being employed at the Centre, a charge stoutly rejected by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The matter was raised vociferously by Congress in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The Upper House saw four adjournments – two each during Question Hour and Zero Hour.
“When the news itself is false and baseless, the question of an inquiry does not arise,” Singh said in Lok Sabha, adding that the reports should not be taken seriously.
His clarification came after Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge alleged that in Gujarat, telephones of as many as 29,000 people were tapped.
Amid uproar by some BJP MPs, he wanted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself should come to the House and take the nation into confidence by giving a detailed statement on how many ministers, MPs and officials were being snooped.
Kharge expressed concern over reports that some listening devices were found at Gadkari’s residence.
Gadkari was present in the Lok Sabha when the issue was raised by Congress, which unsuccessfully tried to highlight it when the House met for the day.
In the Rajya Sabha, the issue created storm and the House saw four adjournments as Congress-led Opposition remained adamant on a discussion and a thorough probe into the matter.
Raising the issue, deputy leader of Congress Anand Sharma alleged that, “Government is allowing tapping of telephones on a large scale. It is a question of privacy. This is a serious matter…Here we are talking of bugging. Who has allowed it? Our demand is a thorough probe to unearth the truth. It has to be discussed in the House.”
Congress members raised slogans – “Modi model nahin chalega” and “We want JPC”.
Earlier, the Home Minister told the House that, “There is no truth in those media reports. The Minister too has termed the reports as baseless and factually incorrect.”
Singh also said no high powered listening device was found at Gadkari’s residence.