Opposition’s vice-presidential candidate Margaret Alva on Tuesday lashed out at the BJP-led central government in a cryptic tweet, alleging that the ‘Big Brother’ was listening as her calls were getting diverted. She further said that democracy was being crushed as politicians were being spied upon.
“The fear that ‘Big Brother’ is always watching and listening permeates all conversations between politicians across party lines in ‘new’ India. MPs and leaders of parties carry multiple phones, frequently change numbers and talk in hushed whispers when they meet. Fear kills democracy,” Alva tweeted.
In another tweet, she tagged the BSNL while alleging that her calls were being diverted. “After speaking to some friends in the BJP today, all calls to my mobile are being diverted and I’m unable to make or receive calls. If you restore the phone. I promise not to call any MP from the BJP, TMC or BJD tonight,” she tweeted.
Taking serious note of her tweet, the BSNL said that it has filed an FIR in connection with this matter. “Appropriate action has been taken in the complaint filed by Margaret Alva. BSNL has filed an FIR in the matter,” the Ministry of Telecom Sources said.
Reacting to Alva’s claims, Union Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said, “Why should anybody tap her phone? Let her call anybody, we’re confident about what the result of the VP election will be. Why should we do this? These are childish allegations. She’s a senior person and she should not make such allegations.”
Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni, hitting out at Alva, told news agency ANI, “Dejected people speak things like that. What is the use of tapping her phone?…There are no chances of her victory. People give such statements out of dejection.”
Alva is pitted against NDA nominee Jagdeep Dhankar for the vice-presidential polls scheduled to be held on August 6. While Alva was the joint Opposition candidate, the Trinamool Congress has decided to abstain from the VP elections as it alleged that the party wasn’t consulted before announcing the VP candidate. Dhankar has a clear edge going into the vice-presidential elections with the NDA possessing the requisite numbers in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to win a majority. Unlike the Presidential elections, only Members of Parliament can cast their vote in the vice-presidential polls, and not the MLAs from state assemblies.