Uproar in RS over ‘surveillance, phone tapping’

RSTV Bureau

nitin_gadkariRajya Sabha witnessed uproar on Thursday for the second consecutive day on the issue of alleged surveillance and phone tapping of Cabinet Ministers, with Opposition forcing two adjournments during the Question Hour.

Members from Congress insisted on a probe into the matter even as Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu tried to pacify them, saying Home Minister Rajnath Singh has already clarified that there was no truth in such reports.

As soon as the House met for the day, members from Congress, SP and some other opposition parties raised the matter.

On Wednesday also the House was adjourned twice during Question Hour as Congress members created storm over reports that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s house and telephone were bugged and high powered listening devices were found in his bedroom.

Insisting that notices were given for discussion on the issue, Deputy Leader of Congress in the Upper House Anand Sharma demanded discussion and probe into the matter.

Naresh Agrawal (SP) supported the demand, while members from treasury benches kept pressing for going ahead with the Question Hour.

Quoting the Home Minister, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar said “this is a baseless” issue and “there is nothing to discuss”.

In his effort to bring order in the House, Chairman Hamid Ansari said disruption of Question Hour infringes on rights of members who want to ask questions.

As the opposition remained adamant, Ansari adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

When the House reassembled, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the bugging issue was appearing in newspapers and on TV channels for last 3-4 days and there were reports that phones of some cabinet members were being tapped.

Citing the Home Minister’s clarification, Naidu said there is “no truth” in the issue.

“They (Congress) do not have any issue” and that is why they are politicising the matter, Naidu said.

With the opposition refusing to yield, the Chair adjourned the House till noon.