BJP demands PM clarify on bugging episode


New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party Friday dubbed the reports of bugging of Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s office as a “serious” and “unfortunate” matter and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clarify the issue even though the government denied the report.

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Talking to reporters here, party president Nitin Gadkari said it was “unfortunate” that such incident was recurring, referring to the earlier episode of the reported bugging at Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s office.

“After such an incident was reported earlier, the prime minister had intervened, but this is happening again and again. It is up to the prime minister, he should take serious note of it and stop such happenings. Things like tapping opposition leaders’ phones is not good for our democracy,” Gadkari said.

Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, meanwhile, said the matter should be thoroughly probed and wondered what the reasons were for spying on the cabinet minister.

“The defence minister is responsible for defending our borders but his own office borders are not secure. The reports of the bugging of his office is a matter of serious concern,” he said, also citing the earlier reports about bugging of the finance minister’s office.

“At that time they said chewing gums were stuck at 12 places in the finance mnister’s office. We hope this time too the same excuse is not made. This matter cannot be taken lightly and the truth should be told to the country,” Javadekar said.

He also said that the issue will be raised in parliament as it could be an issue of concern for national security.

The spokesperson also said it was difficult to believe that the substance found in the finance minister’s office was chewing gum.

Reports of bugging Antony’s office appeared in a section of media Friday. The defence ministry has, however, denied the reports and said that a routine check took place and nothing was found.