Sparring over Delhi Police officials visiting Rahul Gandhi’s residence intensified on Sunday with the Congress accusing Narendra Modi government of “snooping” on opposition leaders while Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dubbed the charge on Congress vice president as “atrocious”.
“The present government has much to answer when it comes to right of privacy of citizens. They are are now trying to do it everywhere what was happening in one state. Both Modi and Amit Shah are now here.
“It is not confined to one person. It is much deeper. The practice that they had adopted in Gujarat, they want to carry it out now every where,” party spokesperson Anand Sharma told reporters at the AICC office in Delhi.
He had also justified his remarks in an interview, claiming that senior opposition leaders’ phones are being “tapped” and surveillance is being carried on them.
Asked whether he has any proof to back his allegation, Sharma said,”letters are not sent for phone tapping to political leaders, judges and others…It can be proved only if the Prime Minister, Home Minister give letters to Opposition leaders regarding their phone tapping.”
In Hyderabad, BJP trashed the Congress allegation of snooping on Rahul Gandhi, saying the opposition party was bereft of issues and raking up non-issues.
“This is absolutely an atrocious charge by Congress and there is nobody snooping. Congress people don’t know where Rahul is. So, how we will snoop. That’s not the issue,” Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
He was reacting to a query over the Congress accusing the Narendra Modi government of carrying out “political espionage” and “snooping” following the visit of a Delhi Police team to Gandhi’s residence.
“It’s a routine police procedure to which they (Congress) are over-reacting. I think Congress has lost the plot, and they are bereft of any issue.
They have no public issue and therefore they are raising such issues which are non-issues,” the senior BJP leader asserted.
The Congress spokesperson said that leaders of Opposition had raised the issue of their phones being tapped in the last session as well and the Home Minister said there is no such thing.
Asserting that India cannot be allowed to be converted into a police state, Sharma said,”we will raise the issue in Parliament.
While Delhi police had yesterday itself rejected allegations of snooping, saying it was a routine exercise of being in touch with dignitaries, Congress has accused the Modi government of carrying out “political espionage” on Gandhi and demanded a “comprehensive explanation from no less than the Home Minsiter and the Prime Minister.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Delhi police officials, who visited the party Vice President’s residence, had made “unwarranted and weird” enquiries about him.
Youth Congress workers had protested outside the residence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the alleged “political espionage” of Gandhi.
BJP had hit back at Congress saying the opposition party has the habit of seeing conspiracies even in “routine” matters and considered itself above the law.
Gandhi is on a sabbatical since the start of the Budget session of Parliament on February 23. Some police officials went to his residence on March 12 and reportedly asked how he looks like and what is the colour of his eyes etc.