With recently declassified Intelligence Bureau files reportedly revealing that the Jawaharlal Nehru government spied on the kin of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose for nearly two decades, the Congress on Friday accused the government of “selectively leaking” information to defame national icons. The ruling BJP, on the other hand, hit out at the Congress saying the revelations show that snooping was in the Congress’s DNA.
“A systematic and sinister propaganda of selective leaks and half-truths have been unleashed by current BJP government to malign national icons, who reshaped India’s destiny, rewrote its history and made it a great nation today,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
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“The Prime Minister and Home Minister must explain as to why only ‘notings on the file’ of the two declassified files have been released while the ‘correspondence portion’ of these files were withheld. Does the correspondence portion contain some inconvenient truth that PMO has chosen to withhold?” he said.
The Congress claimed that there is no record in the National Archives of any press correspondent as having visited and perused these files.
“Who, in the government, is then making the selective leaks with a view to defame national icons? We demand that PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh should have the courage to come out, make a statement and place full facts in public domain as the PMO has still kept 58 and Home Ministry kept 29 related files as classified on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,” he said.
“We also demand that all such documents should be declassified so that complete truth is placed in public domain,” he added.
The BJP utilised the reports that Bose’s family was kept under surveillance between 1948 and 1968 to hit out at the Congress. “The BJP today is definitely taking a stand that this is really surprising and shocking. Already on the dimension of snooping, research that has come out, I certainly feel that till 2010-11 snooping has become a part of Congress’ DNA…We express our concern,” Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
“The party (Congress) snooped then on Subhash Chandra Bose’s family and continued during Indira Gandhi’s regime when her daughter-in-law was also snooped at. The Finance Minister of the country was also subjected to snooping, about which we do not know what came out,” she said.
Singhvi, however, said: “In its classic diabolical design, BJP is seeking to malign not only Nehru but also other national leaders like Patel, Shastri, Gulzarilal Nanda.”