Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday played down the alleged security breach issue at his office saying that it is not worth wasting time on. "It's bogus, (media) shouldn't waste our time on it," he said.
Meanwhile, the BJP has termed the security breach issue as serious. Its senior leader Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday that the chewing gum theory put forward by the intelligence bureau was laughable and hard to digest.
She said that the Government should look into the issue deeply. It should be known if the Government was itself spying on its minister or was there an actual security breach. Swaraj said that in both the cases the issue was grave.
It seems the reported bugging of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's office gave BJP a handle to allude to a "civil war" between him and home minister P Chidambaram, saying this seems to have led the former to ask for a probe by a private agency and not government sleuths.
"Today, the Government is completely directionless, rudderless, without leadership and apprehensive. The situation has come to such a pass that the finance minister suspects his office is bugged. The country wants to know who is bugging his office," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said on Tuesday. He indicated there seems to be a lack of trust between the finance minister and the home minister.
"Instead of getting the investigations into the matter done by the Home Ministry (under which several investigating agencies fall), the finance ministry had asked a private detective agency to probe," Hussain said.
He demanded details of the probe report be made public as the people want to know the facts. "On the one hand, this government is talking to civil society (on lokpal bill) and on the other there is a civil war on amongst its leaders," Hussain said.
He maintained this had led union ministers to engage in a show of oneupmanship with their cabinet colleagues. Hussain wanted to know that if the office of the finance minister of this country is not safe - especially at a time when the Government is facing so many corruption charges - then which office is.
With PTI inputs