BJP flays Congress over alleged phone tapping

“This is completely undemocratic. Nothing justifies it. It indicates the Congress is getting back to Emergency days mindset,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told IANS. She was referring to the Emergency rule of then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1975-77 when opposition leaders were jailed and democratic freedoms curbed.

Sitharaman reacted to a report in newsmagazine Outlook that said that the government was tapping the telephones of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Prakash Karat and Congress leader Digvijay Singh.

The government has not commented on the report.
Sitharaman said the BJP planned to raise the issue when parliament meets Monday.
A guarded Congress said it was for the government to say whether phones were tapped or not and if it was legal.

"Nobody can justify illegal phone tapping but in this case it is for the for the government to throw light on whether phones were tapped," Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said.

Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a key member of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, was guarded in its response.
“It (phone tapping) is not confirmed yet. Wait for some concrete evidence,” NCP leader Tariq Anwar said.

The CPI-M, which withdrew its legislative support to the earlier UPA regime in 2009 over the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, said it will issue an official statement later Saturday.

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