The CPI(M) on Monday termed as "unconvincing" Home Minister P Chidambaram's statement that the government had not authorised tapping of telephones of any political leader and sought an independent probe into the matter.
"The statement by the Home Minister denying that any interception/tapping of phone calls of political leaders has taken place is unconvincing.
"The government would find it expedient to deny the use of intelligence and security agencies for such surveillance," the party Politburo said, demanding an independent probe into the matter to "uncover the truth".
In Parliament, Chidambaram categorically denied that any tapping of telephones of political leaders was authorised by either the previous UPA government or the present one.
A leading news weekly has alleged in an article that the phones of four political leaders, Union Minister Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Digvijay Singh, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were tapped.
CPI(M) had earlier accused the government of using intelligence agencies to serve its political purpose and asked it to own up responsibility. It also sought guidelines to prohibit surveillance of leaders and bringing intelligence bodies under Parliamentary oversight.
"Such acts subvert the democratic system and breeds an atmosphere of illegality in the higher echelons of the government. They cannot be tolerated," CPI(M) had said.
Chidambaram said in his statement in Parliament that the report on phone tapping was thoroughly enquired into and "nothing has been found in the records of the NTRO (National Technical Research Organisation) to substantiate the allegations."