Expressing shock and concern over snooping done on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s family, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today launched a scathing attack on Congress for the alleged role of its then government and said the opposition party has snooping in its DNA.
BJP also cited examples of snooping on former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law and on former Finance Minister when chewing gum was found in his office.
“The BJP today is definitely taking a stand that this is really surprising and shocking. Already on the dimension of snooping, research that has come out, I certainly feel that till 2010-11 snooping has become a part of Congress’ DNA…We express our concern,” BJP leader and Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
She said the revelation that has come out as a result of research, particularly on the aspect of snooping done by then government on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s family, has raised a lot of concerns in the minds of people.
“The party (Congress) snooped then on Subhash Chandra Bose’s family and continued during Indira Gandhi’s regime when her daughter-in-law was also snooped at and the Finance Minister of the country was also subject to snooping, about which we do not know what came out,” the BJP Minister said.
Sitharaman said even when the government was unaware of the whereabouts of Subhash Chandra Bose and did not even know whether he was alive or not, the government of the time continued snooping on his family till 1968.
To a question on similar kind of snooping carried out in Gujarat on a common woman, she said it has been very clearly established that the victim hersef at that time had said that there was no snooping on her.
“It was very clear. There was a Commission established and headed by a retired judge and the victim herself had said there was no snooping on her,” she said.
Intelligence Bureau kept relatives of Subhas Chandra Bose under close surveillance for two decades, most of which was during Jawaharlal Nehru’s tenure as Prime Minister, according to archival material, triggerring a political controversy.
The IB sleuths intercepted and copied letters written by the Bose family and even trailed them on foreign tours.
Bose’s family reacted to reports with “shock” and said it was a “poor reflection” on the quality of democracy at that time.
Congress howeever debunked such reports about snooping on Netaji’s family by the then government.
Asked if the files relating to Bose would be de-classified, Sitharaman said, “We had said so in our campaign ahead of Lok Sabha polls. I am sure the government is looking into it and something may come out.”
On the demand for making the Henderson report public, she said, “I am sure government will do something. I will have to go back and check with the Home Minister and Defence Minister on explaining this.”
On allegations by Congress that government is behind these strategic leaks, she said, “Congress has no other excuse except for blaming BJP and RSS. When they do not have answers they do so. I think they should be far more imaginative than just blaming BJP.”
On the land bill, the BJP Minister said Congress may go to town in support of its 2013 Bill, which would not help it and it today stands exposed on the issue, and stressed that BJP was still open to suggestions and “willing to talk to all”.
“The law brought by Congress has been proved to be a big hurdle in acquiring land, which its own chief ministers have been saying,” she said, adding that the perception battle is for the opposition party to clear before public.
“The Congress is fighting its own battle where they have now been exposed as somebody who did not do a fair job in taking care of farmers’ interests. They now stand exposed that they are not the champions of farmers’ cause,” she said.
Sitharaman also praised Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh for the role played by him in evacuation of Indians from strife-torn Yemen, saying he should have been lauded instead of being criticised.
“The government congratulates Gen V K Singh for his role in Yemen. His efforts are brilliant and entire international community has been praising him and foreign television channels, including in Japan, has been praising the operation,” she said.
Government is not behind in such matters and instead Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also be lauded for his role in helping Indian citizens stranded abroad, be it Father Alex in Afghanistan or nurses from Iraq, she said.