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BJP for inquiry into bugging episode

New Delhi: BJP on Friday accused the government of not dealing with seriousness the incident of reported bugging of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s office and demanded a time-bound comprehensive inquiry into the episode.

“We think the seriousness with which this issue has to be addressed is not being considered by the leaders of the Congress or by the government. It wasn’t the room or cabin of Pranab Mukherjee in the Congress office that was bugged. It was the finance minister`s room together with his two assistants,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

BJP alluded to a rift between the finance and home ministries as being the reason for the bugging.

“Whose room was suspected to have been bugged? The finance ministry which takes crucial decisions on the Indian economy. Even though the office of the finance minister was bugged, he chose it appropriate to write to the Prime Minister asking for a secret (private) investigation, ignoring the home ministry,” Sitharaman said.

Alleging that the government has failed to give convincing replies, BJP asked, “If it is not one (ministry) versus the other (ministry) was it a corporate lobbyist (who had bugged the FM’s office?”

The Opposition called for a “comprehensive, time bound inquiry” into the matter and said its report should be made public as the country wants to know “what exactly happened”.

The BJP maintained that Mukherjee insisted on lettingthe matter go “probably under duress”. It further said the Congress and the government were speaking in different voices as one party general secretary had demanded a probe into the bugging issue only to subsequently withdraw it while the government said the matter should be closed.

“What exactly is happening? Is this the government of india’s finance minister’s room we are talking about or is it a private house in which somebody’s cabin has been bugged? The seriousness that this issue should have and the seriousness with which it should be dealt with by the government is not there,” Sitharaman said.

She maintained that the elements within the government as well as those in the ruling party have divergent views on the same issue and seem to be “working at cross purposes”.

“Sometimes it raises the question whether this is being done under a plan. We do not want the Congress to come up with varying versions,” Sitharaman said.

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