The Congress has seized upon the Gadkari snooping issue to obliquely target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
Picking up from former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s demand for probe into the issue, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh dubbed it as a serious matter.
“It concerns the security of an important person in the Cabinet. If it can happen to him, then God save the country,” said Singh.
The AICC also fielded senior Gujarat leader Shaktisinh Gohil to comment on the issue of high-power listening devices being purportedly found in the bedroom of former BJP president Gadkari's 13 Teen Murti Lane residence.
“I come from Gujarat, and its commonplace to snoop there. It looks like the sutradhar (the person holding the threads) has come to Delhi,” said Gohil, referring to alleged snooping scandal in the state during the tenure of Modi as chief minister from 2001 to May this year. He, however, did not name either Modi or Shah.
“It seems Gadkari's house was snooped upon and truth must come out,” added Gohil.Asked whether the Congress was levelling a direct allegation at Modi, he said: “Let the prime minister explain this. Earlier, when Manmohan Singh was prime minister, he (Modi) would often question his silence. Why is he silent now? It is our turn to ask.”
He also referred to the alleged snooping on a young woman architect in Gujarat during Modi’s tenure as chief minister, which the Congress had made an election issue. “The movements of a woman were kept under surveillance in Gujarat under the instructions of one ‘sahib’. That voice has not been identified so far. A DGP of Gujarat had said 90,000 phones were tapped in the state illegally,” said Gohil.
NCP leader Tariq Anwar demanded that the government make a statement in Parliament on the veracity of the incident, and whether the PMO or any external forces were involved in it.
To a question on whether he had any knowledge of the US National Security Agency wanting to spy on the BJP, former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid replied in the negative, saying the US had the best of relations with the saffron party.