Opposition unite, to rock House over phone taps
The alleged tapping of phones of political leaders and government allies on Saturday brought the BJP and the Left together with Opposition parties planning to raise the issue in both houses of Parliament on Monday.delhi Updated: Apr 25, 2010 02:19 IST
The alleged tapping of phones of political leaders and government allies on Saturday brought the BJP and the Left together with Opposition parties planning to raise the issue in both houses of Parliament on Monday.
Even before the government could recover from the political fallout of the IPL controversy or evolve a strategy to deal with possible cut motions on the finance bill coming up for discussion on April 27, it finds itself on the defensive over the tapping, allegedly carried out by the National Technical Research Organisation.
According to an English newsweekly, the politicians whose phones were tapped included government ally and NCP leader Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Digvijay Singh, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat.
Opposition leaders went ballistic on the issue, demanding an explanation from the Prime Minister.
“The UPA government is resorting to tapping of phones of political leaders which is illegal and intolerable. The government has to own up responsibility and take action against those responsible,” said Karat.
“In the garb of tracking terror, the government is tracking politicians and even their own cabinet ministers,” said BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
Telugu Desam chief N. Chandrababu Naidu said Prime Minister Singh could not say he was ignorant of the tapping issue since the National Security Advisor worked directly under him. “The National Technical Research Organisation works under the NSA.”
“It is being looked into’’ said sources in the Prime Minister’s Office. The government is expected to make a statement when the issue is raised.
The NCP’s response was guarded. “We will discuss the issue among ourselves on Monday,’’ said party MP Tariq Anwar.
The CPM demanded intelligence bodies be brought under parliamentary oversight and surveillance on grounds of national security and criminal activity codified.