Cong cries foul over cop at Rahul home

Party claims Modi conducting political espionage

Cong cries foul over cop at Rahul home

An angry Congress on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of “political espionage” after a Delhi Police official visited Rahul Gandhi’s residence seeking details about his physical appearance.

The “routine” questions by the police official, conducted last week, snowballed into a controversy as Youth Congress activists took to the streets to protest against the “intrusive” behaviour of the Delhi Police at the “behest of political masters”.

Congress leaders claimed that the police sought to know the whereabouts of Rahul, who has been on a political sabbatical for the past few weeks.

“This kind of political espionage, snooping, surveillance and intrusion in political opponent’s life may be Gujarat model but not India model,” AICC spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters here.

Singhvi claimed that Assistant Sub-Inspector Samsher Singh from Delhi Police Headquarters visited Rahul’s 12, Tughlaq Lane, residence and asked “weird questions” like the colour of his eyes and hair.

The Congress questioned the need for such an exercise, given that the party vice-president was a Special Protection Group protectee and enjoys Z-plus security, the highest in the country.

A group of Youth Congress activists raised slogans outside Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence and burnt his effigy to register their protest. Singh is in Japan on an official visit.

Asserting that no law in the country permitted “snooping or surveillance,” Singhvi said the Congress would raise the issue strongly in Parliament next week.

Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi rejected the allegations, and said the visit by the police official was part of a routine security audit, and that no personal question was asked.

Such surveys were conducted at all protected persons’ offices from time to time, said the police. Similar exercises were carried out at the residences of L K Advani, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Union minister Krishanpal Gujjar, M Veerappa Moily and Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal.

BJP spokesman Sudhanshu Trivedi said the Congress was “disturbed” over Rahul’s continued absence, and making an issue out of a “routine exercise” to remain politically relevant.

“If the Congress wants to make this a political issue, it shows its mentality that it considers itself above the law,” Trivedi said.

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