NEW DELHI: As controversy raged over the alleged bugging at the residence of Union Minister for Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday categorically denied any such incident and ruled out an Intelligence Bureau probe into the matter.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Minister himself had denied the bugging incident, while his deputy Kiren Rijiju said the Home Ministry cannot comment on the issue since Gadkari had already termed the reports ‘speculative’.
When was asked if the MHA would probe the bugging reports, Rijiju retorted “The Minister himself has said the reports are speculative... How can we comment on it?”.
As the Congress demanded an inquiry and vowed to the raise the issue in Parliament on Wednesday, Gadkari once again took to Twitter to deny reports that such devices were discovered at his residence.
In a carefully-crafted tweet, Gadkari said, “As already stated, I reiterate that no devices were found at my residence anywhere.” The Minister had on Sunday termed the news reports on bugging ‘speculative’, which kept rumour mills buzzing as he did not categorically deny it. It was only 24 hours later that he stated no devices were found.
Predictably, the Congress was quick to draw a parallel with the Gujarat Snoopgate controversy and demanded a probe.
“This used to happen in Gujarat.... Now the days of snooping have come even in Delhi. It seems its architects have come here as well,” party spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil told reporters at the AICC briefing.
The Opposition party further tried to embarrass the two-month old BJP government alleging that “The movements of a woman were kept under surveillance in Gujarat under the instruction of one Sahib. That voice was not denied so far,” Gohil added.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said, “It concerns the security of an important person in the Indian Cabinet. If it can happen to him (Gadkari), then God save the country.”
The BJP, however, hit out at the Congress for raising a non-issue.
“It is unfortunate that former PM Manmohan Singh speaks on an issue like this. It was not expected of him to speak on a matter which does not have any basis,” BJP’s media cell in-charge Shrikant Sharma said. The controversy is over snooping devices reportedly being found in Gadkari’s house.