Hitting back at the government for its claim that Sonia Gandhi too has been profiled in the past in a manner similar to Rahul’s profiling, the Congress on Monday denied that ether Sonia or Rahul Gandhi had ever filled up any such forms.
“Neither Smt Sonia Gandhi nor Shri Rahul Gandhi or their private secretaries ever filled up such a form… This is misinformation being spread,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, adding the issue was not the form but the “manner” in which information was sought.
“The issue is not the form. Do not trivialise the issue by confining it to a form… It is serious because of the manner in which questions were asked… If they wanted to know the whereabouts of Rahul Gandhi, they should have sought an appointment. Their conduct leaves many unanswered questions,” he said, adding neither was a government letter sent to Rahul’s office asking for form to be filled, nor was an appointment sought.
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The Congress spokesperson said the government’s constant refrain that the Congress was opposed to the form was “irrelevant, diversionary” and through this, it was “deliberately creating a red herring”.
Singhvi described how the “profiling” exercise took place. “First they sent one person, ASI Shamsher Singh, who was found roaming around and asking questions. He had not come out with a form to Rahul Gandhi’s office. It was recovered from him only later by Rahul’s staff,” Singhvi said. “Then two beat constables from Tughlaq Road police station went there on March 12. Then two officers including additional DCP Jatin Narwal came there on March 14 and asked questions about the aides of Rahul Gandhi…This has never been done for an SPG protectee.”
Singhvi rejected Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s explanation that the police have been collecting such information, including about shoes, because former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s body had been identified from his shoes.
“Will you ask such questions of everybody because Rajiv Gandhi’s body was identified from his shoe? This is a process to turn into ridiculous from divine. If such a form exists, there is a radical need to do away with it,” Singhvi said.
Terming it as a serious issue which was also a “theatre of the absurd”, Singhvi said this displayed a “police state mentality”. In an apparent reference to Gujarat, the Congress leader said first this mentality existed in “a particular state” and now it was “overall”. “Big brother is watching even if you are an NDA ally or even a BJP member. Big brother is definitely watching you all the more if you are in opposition,” he said.