To the Congress' discomfiture, its general secretary Digvijaya Singh has once again shot from his lips. This time he called for a probe into the alleged bugging of Pranab Mukherjee's office even after the Congress tried to cap the controversy saying that the finance minister had said that the Intelligence Bureau had found nothing during its investigations and the whole thing was bogus.
"I was literally surprised that finance minister's office may be tapped, bugged. This is something which is unheard of and I think the Government should ...inquire into who is responsible," Singh told a television channel in response to a question.
Within hours of Singh's statement, Congress media department chairman Janardhan Dwivedi went into a damage control exercise. "After Pranab Mukherjee's clarification, nothing more needs to be said," Dwivedi said, clearly seeking to play down his colleague's remarks which the opposition would use to embarrass the party.
Earlier I&B minister Ambika Soni also quoted Mukherjee and said that the matter should be treated as closed. Congress spokespersons too have been accusing the opposition of trying to make a mountain out of a molehill by turning the matter into a political row.
Singh's call for a probe came even though the party often conveyed to its leaders not to air their views on matters that do not relate to their responsibilities. Singh clearly is not one to go by that. He was the first to flag hindu terror, launch an attack on Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, question the Batla house encounter, call for the PM's inclusion in the Lokpal bill, object to the ministerial reception of the yoga guru at Delhi airport and question home minister P Chidambaram's anti-naxal policy. It is another matter, that after distancing itself from his remarks, the party has often ended up adopting them.