Finance minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday took a dig at the Narendra Modi government over the illegal snooping row, saying that in the "wonderful state of Gujarat, security is provided by stalking and snooping".
"The first time I have heard that there is a request for providing security and in that wonderful state, security is provided by stalking and snooping," he told reporters.
Chidambaram was replying to a query on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's close aide and former minister of state for home Amit Shah being accused of misusing his powers and police machinery for illegal surveillance of a young woman in 2009.
"I think this is condemnable. Providing security isn't the same as stalking, providing security is not the same as snooping," he said.
BJP and Congress are engaged in a spat over alleged snooping of the woman with the latter accusing Modi of heading a "fascist" dispensation in Gujarat where a woman was allegedly ordered to be stalked.
BJP has, however, rubbished the charge calling it the handiwork of the "dirty tricks department" of Congress.
Two investigative news portals, Cobrapost and Gulail, had claimed on November 15 that Amit Shah had ordered illegal surveillance of the woman at the behest of one "saheb".
They had released taped conversation between Shah and IPS officer GL Singhal to support their claim but said its authenticity could not be confirmed.