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Mulayam, Cong spar over Amar ?phone tap?

UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday accused the Union government of tapping the phone of Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh in Delhi. Mulayam said this was being done at the behest of AICC president Sonia Gandhi. The Congress has rejected the charges.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2005 12:04 IST

UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday accused the Union government of tapping the phone of Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh in Delhi. Mulayam said this was being done at the behest of AICC president Sonia Gandhi. The Congress has rejected the charges.

Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Mulayam said the principal secretary (home), Delhi, R. Narayan Swami, had issued two orders on October 22 and November 9, 2005 to the joint commissioner, north zone (crime), Delhi, Ranjit Narayan, for tapping a phone (011-39565414) installed at Amar Singh's Lodhi Estate residence.

The UP CM said he had taken up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Police Commissioner K.K. Paul. Mulayam said while the PM said he would look into the matter, Patil said the letter authorising the phone tapping was forged.

Rejecting Mulayam's charge, the Congress in turn accused the SP of suffering from "Congressitis and Soniatis" and said the allegations were "wild, unsubstantiated and imaginary".

Noting that this was perhaps the fourth or fifth time that Mulayam's party was levelling such "baseless" charges, AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi wondered: "Are they doing this to hide something and create a protective shield around themselves? It seems to be a case of chor ki daarhi mein tinka."

The Union Home Ministry was also quick to deny the allegations. L.C. Goyal, Joint Secretary, Internal Security, said the documents on the basis of which the allegation was made were forged. Goyal categorically stated that no instructions were issued to monitor Singh's phone.

The Delhi Police have registered a case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy against unknown persons.

First Published: Dec 31, 2005 12:04 IST