Amid reports that bugging devices were found at the residence of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday that the matter should be investigated as “it is not a good omen”. He also said the government should “explain” the development in Parliament.
The Sunday Guardian, founded by M J Akbar, who is now a BJP spokesperson, reported on Sunday that a device was recovered from Gadkari’s bedroom in his 13 Teen Murti Lane residence here, following which a debugging exercise was carried out and more devices were found.
Dismissing the report, Gadkari said, “Reports in a section of the media about listening devices having been found at my New Delhi residence are highly speculative.”
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Speaking to reporters at the Iftar hosted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Singh said if the report was true, it was a serious issue. “If ministers’ houses are bugged, then it is not a good omen. It should be investigated. How can it happen? It should be explained by the government in the House,” he said.
His comments came hours after Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “It reflects a certain lack of faith among ministerial colleagues and an absence of mutual trust. It’s time that both Gadkari, and also the BJP and government, come clean on the issue and place before the people of the country if at all there was bugging and if there was snooping being done… …at whose instance and at whose authority it has been done. And what is the reason, if any, for conducting such snooping.”
— With inputs from ENS, Mumbai