Opposition slams govt on 'phone tapping',

The Government, which is expected to be cornered on the phone tapping issue in Parliament on Monday, on its part said the issue was being "examined".
"We are getting it examined. We have taken note of it (allegations) and it is being looked into", PMO sources said.

Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who was among the leaders whose phone was allegedly tapped, said he was not bothered but wanted the government to enquire into the allegations.
"I don't believe this story because Manmohan Singh's government cannot do such an unethical and illegal task," he said.

The Left said acts like phone tapping subverts the democratic system and breeds an atmosphere of illegality in the higher echelons of the government.
The acts were an outright violation of laws, a bizarre infringement and a serious assault on the democratic and civil rights, it said.

A prominent English news weekly claimed that the phones of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Digvijay Singh, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat were tapped.

"Phone tapping by the government of political leaders and opponents is a subversion of the democratic system and is totally illegal. The Government should explain how this happened and take action against those responsible for this," Karat said.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said "in the garb of tracking terror, the Government is tracking politicians and even their own cabinet ministers from alliance partners. Apparently, the Government has failed on all fronts, making them seemingly insecure and prompting such despotic actions,"
He demanded a "clear statement" on the issue from the Prime Minister and "none else" in Parliament.

Terming the incident as "illegal and most shameful", the Left accused the government of using intelligence agencies to serve its political purpose and asked it to own up responsibility.

The CPI(M) demanded that intelligence bodies be brought under Parliamentary oversight and surveillance on grounds of national security and criminal activity be codified.
To ensure that such illegal acts "do not recur", the government should place in Parliament a clear set of guidelines prohibiting the use of intelligence and security agencies for any form of surveillance of political leaders and their activities, it said.
"We are not living in a military regime," said CPI's D Raja. Former premier and JDS Chief H D Devegowda called the action a very serious issue.

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