Snooping: Narendra Modi govt conducting ‘political espionage’ on Rahul Gandhi, charges Congress

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New Delhi | Updated: March 17, 2015 10:23:56 AM

Rahul Gandhi's staff allegedly caught a Delhi Police official seeking 'unwarranted and weird' enquiries about the Congress leader.

rahul gandhi, rahul gandhi news, rahul gandhi snoopingRahul Gandhi is on a sabbatical since the start of the budget session of Parliament late last month.

The Congress on Saturday accused the Narendra Modi government of carrying out “political espionage” on Rahul Gandhi claiming his staff had caught a Delhi Police official seeking “unwarranted and weird” enquiries about him.

Declaring that the issue of “snooping and surveillance” on Gandhi would be raised in Parliament, the party demanded a “comprehensive explanation from no less than the Home Minister and the Prime Minister” rejecting the police claim that the episode as merely a security issue.

Rahul Gandhi is on a sabbatical since the start of the budget session of Parliament late last month.

Detailing the sequence of events after a media report on Delhi Police visiting Rahul’s office and asking questions how he looks like, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said such “snooping” was “perfected in Gujarat” earlier.

“This kind of political espionage, snooping and surveillance, this kind of intrusion in political opponents’ life–this may be Gujarat model. It is not India’s model. The track record shows it is a model perfected in Gujarat especially for political opponents, judges, journalists and private persons…

“We are charging the government, condemning it and strongly deprecating this kind of conduct. It is not only specific to Congress and Rahul Gandhi but in general against all political opponents,” Singhvi said.

Narrating the sequence, the Congress spokesperson said that a few days ago one Shamsher Singh, ASI of Delhi Police headquarters with ID number 28820025 and not from Tughalq Road police station (under whose jurisdiction Gandhi’s residence falls) was found “snooping, making unnecessary and weird enquiries and roaming around” in the vicinity of the residence of the Congress Vice President.

Alleging that the policeman, who was first spotted by sleuths of Special Protection Group, was asking “weird” questions like the colour of Rahuls’ hair and eyes, his shoes and details like what he does and where he goes besides information about address and phone number of his associates, Singhvi said that the proforma had a heading “Rahul Gandhi: Leader of a political party.”

He said asking such questions from somebody who is an SPG protectee for decades is “absurd.”

The leader also suggested that the incident that happened at Rahul Gandhi’s residence may not be an isolated one and many such incidents may be exposed in times to come.

“You have not heard the last word. I have stated facts, deliberately not stated all facts. We have kept the other details. Today is not the last day. I have not put across all the facts before you right now,” Singhvi said suggesting that the party will place “new facts” on its political espionage charge against the government in coming days.

He said that there are already a number of other issues like rising incidents of rapes and law and order issues, which the police have to tackle than getting into such things.

Singhvi downplayed questions on whether the party will lead a delegation to the Delhi Police Commissioner over the issue saying “I am not looking for satisfaction from Delhi Police. It is a very small thing. Police is a minor thing (in this issue). We are raising a much larger issue of democracy. This cuts at the root of democracy.”

The Congress spokesperson said “we demand a comprehensive explanation by no less than the Home Minister and the Prime Minister of India.

This is not a Congress-centric issue. It affects all parties in the opposition, who are capable of opposing the Prime Minister and the BJP,” drawing parallel with incidents of snoopgate and alleged phone-tapping of political rivals and officers in Gujarat.

“This must be condemned and fought with all vigour,” he said.

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