Congress calls Modi govt ‘fascist’,JD(U) backs demand for probe in snooping row

Former NDA ally wants Modi to step down pending the inquiry.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:November 19, 2013 3:39 am

Escalating its attack on BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over the illegal snooping controversy,the Congress on Monday alleged that a “fascist arrangement” was in place in Gujarat.

“Gujarat is probably not a democratic state of India. It is not functioning according to the democratic norms. It is kind of a fascist arrangement and in this fascist arrangement the dictator is one and that is the Chief Minister. He can kill anybody,he can put anyone under illegal surveillance and he always has one answer — that there is threat to the state,” said senior party leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi.

“BJP claims lady protected at father’s behest. Was threat assessed? Why PSOs not provided?” tweeted Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari. “Why court ignominy of being the Stalking Sahebzada,” he tweeted.

Besides Joshi,the Congress also fielded Sobha Ojha to step up the attack. “The Gujarat government is not answering,that means it has something to hide. If it cannot answer,the government should step down on moral grounds,” said Joshi. “The saheb will have to reply. And his government will have to reply. If the BJP thinks they can just wave off the issue by attacking and accusing the Congress,they are mistaken. We will not let it go like this,” she added.

Supporting the Congress’s demand for a probe by a Supreme Court judge,the JD(U) also demanded Modi’s resignation. “The BJP tends to demand a high-level inquiry and resignation in every case. It is obvious by now that the person referred to as Saheb… is none other than Modi. Therefore,Modi must step down pending the inquiry,” said JD(U) secretary-general and Rajya Sabha member K C Tyagi. He said the use of state machinery and ATS for “snooping on the private life of a young woman” was not only illegal,but also indefensible. He asked how the issue had remained under wraps even after a senior IPS officer had handed over the tapes of his conversations with Shah to the CBI.

Calling for strict action against the officials concerned,Tyagi sought immediate cancellation of the bail granted to Shah. “Modi may be the BJP candidate for the job,but he is certainly not prime ministerial material,” said Tyagi.

Two investigative portals,Cobrapost and Gulail,had claimed on November 15 that former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah had ordered illegal surveillance of a woman at the behest of one “saheb”.

BJP calls it state subject,questions Centre’s role

New delhi: Contending that neither the woman in question nor her parents have requested for a probe into the alleged illegal snooping,the BJP Monday rejected the Congress demand of a probe and questioned the locus standi of the Central government to intervene on this issue,calling it a state issue.

“Congress’s talk of a probe is all nonsense. Law and order is a state subject. Has the woman complained about the matter? Her father has issued a statement saying he had asked for security for her. With what authority is Congress is asking for a probe from the Government of India?” BJP deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The BJP leader,in this backdrop,also termed Congress’s attempt to rake this issue as “irresponsible”,claiming that the said allegations were akin to those made in a writ petition filed by Gujarat cadre IAS officer Pradeep Sharma and his counsel had accepted to withdraw them during a hearing on this issue in the Supreme Court in 2011 itself. Incidentally,the same case is likely to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court Tuesday.

The BJP,however,Monday alleged that the tapes have been leaked as part of a “quid pro quo” between the CBI and Gujarat cadre IPS officer G L Singhal who was arrested in connection with 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case. Prasad alleged that Singhal has provided these tapes in lieu of CBI facilitating his bail.

He questioned the authenticity of the taped conversation purportedly between former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah and IPS officer G L Singhal,pointing out that even the “Cobrapost has refused to authenticate the tapes”. Party leader Nirmala Sitharaman rejected the argument that BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s remarks on this issue were an admission of the illegal snooping. ENS

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