With Congress seeking to corner BJP over alleged bugging of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s residence, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has dismissed reports relating to the issue. Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Rajnath said that the reports were baseless.
This comes after Gadkari himself had ruled out any bugging, calling media reports as “highly speculative”. He had claimed that no devices were found at his residence.
As already stated, I reiterate that no devices were found at my residence anywhere
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— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) July 28, 2014
Reports in a section of the media about listening devices having been found at my New Delhi residence are highly speculative
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) July 27, 2014
The statement by the Home Minister in Rajya Sabha came as several parties were demanding discussion on the issue in Parliament and a probe into the matter.
The House was adjourned twice during Question Hour as Congress members created storm in Rajya Sabha over reports that Gadkari’s house and telephone were bugged and high powered listening devices were found in his bedroom.
The Congress members demanded an impartial probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
Singh, however, said no complaint has been lodged either by the Minister or anybody else on the issue.
“There is no truth in media reports,” he said. “The Minister too has termed the reports as baseless and factually incorrect,” the Home Minister said, adding no high powered listening device was found.
Earlier, when Rajya Sabha met for the day, Anand Sharma (Cong) said bugging of cabinet ministers is a serious matter and it should be discussed in the House.
He said the issue of call records of then Leader of the Opposition and now Leader of the House Arun Jaitley being allegedly accessed unauthorisedly was discussed in the House.
Jaitley said there was a vast difference between fiction and realty and the Home Minister will make a statement.
Singh’s statement did not satisfy the agitated Congress members who continued to shout slogans like “Gujarat model nahi chalega”, forcing adjournment of the House for 15 minutes.
Similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled as unrelenting members shouted slogans “We want JPC”, forcing Ansari to adjourn the House till noon.
A weekly had reported that bugs were found in the residence of Nitin Gadkari accidentally, alleging that the devices were of high quality, used particularly by US agencies CIA and NSA.
Reports had also claimed that the residences of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh were bugged as well.
(With PTI inputs)