Rahul Gandhi has once laughed as he asked, "do they think we did it?" This was in response to an allegation made by the BJP that the Congress had ordered that Nitin Gadkari's residence had been bugged in an attempt to snoop on him.
One of India's best Intelligence officers, the late Maloy Krishna Dhar had written a book called, "Open Secrets, India's Intelligence Unveiled," in which a clear mention is made about how the Congress government under Indira Gandhi had ordered every activity of Maneka Gandhi to be snooped into.
He also wrote that the entire editorial board of a magazine published by Maneka was placed under IB surveillance by Indira Gandhi.
What the Congress has today termed as snooping is a case of security audit, the Delhi police and the Union Government has said.
Arun Jaitley, who stood up to the defence of the government, was himself a victim of snooping in the past and one may recall that in the year 2013 several call details of his were accessed and the then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had termed the allegations as baseless.
Indira Gandhi ordered IB to snoop on Maneka:
The fact that Maneka had fallen out with Indira Gandhi had turned out to be a nightmare for the latter.
She had become extremely suspicious about Maneka and this led her to order the IB to step in.
Every activity that was undertaken by Maneka was monitored by the IB and reported to the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
Indira was particularly keen on the activities of the editorial board of the magazine that Maneka Gandhi ran.
The IB had placed the board under scrutiny and reported everything that was discussed in the meetings. This was done more with an intent of pre-empt any negative write up against Indira that the board was planning.Arun Jaitley under the scanner:
In the year 2013, the BJP had complained that the phones of Arun Jaitley was being tapped. It was found that several records of his call details had been accessed allegedly at the behest of the ruling UPA.
Further the BJP had also alleged that the government had directed the Delhi police to access the call details of Jaitley.
It was also alleged that the email id of Jaitley had been hacked to send out a mail to the service provider to send the itemized details of all the calls he had made.
The then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had dismissed the allegations.
When Rajiv snooped on Zail Singh:
Following the death of his mother, Rajiv Gandhi was extremely suspicious about former President of India Giani Zail Singh.
Rajiv Gandhi believed that Zail Singh was in touch with leaders of the Khalistan movement and ordered that every conversation be recorded.
The snooping had reached such heights that the conversations made by the President both inside and outside the Rashtrapathi Bhavan were recorded.
Dhar writes in his book that it was Rajiv Gandhi who had ordered the snooping of Zail Singh.
Yeshwanth Sinha bugged:
In 2012, when the Aircel-Maxis scam was at its peak, former minister, Yeshwanth Sinha had spoken out about the issue.
He had made allegations against former Finance Minister, P Chidambaram on the scam.
However, later Sinha alleged that following the allegations made by him, Chidambaram had ordered the tapping of his phone calls.
Sinha had alleged that his calls were being snooped into at the behest of Chidrambaram.AK Antony and Pranab Mukhkerjee bugged:
Chidambaram was in the limelight over snooping allegations twice. While the Yeshwanth Sinha was the first to make the allegation, the next time it was during the bugging of Pranab Mukherjee's office.
Although Chidambaram was not blamed for the incident directly, there were hints that it could have been done at his behest as he was the Home Minister then.
Pranab who was the finance minister at that time had written to the Prime Minister that his office had been bugged or was on the verge of being bugged. It was alleged that there was sticky material on the walls which were used to stick bugging devices.
The next time was an allegation in February 2012 when a device meant to monitor the then defence minister, A K Antony was found in his office.
The monitoring device was said to have been planted in Antony's office.
A probe was ordered into the matter and finally it was said that there was nothing found in it. The Defence Ministry had also denied that any attempt to bug the office of the minister had been made.
When Rahul laughed off the Nitin Gadkari bugging incident:
There was a hue and cry over the finding of listening devices in the residence of Nitin Gadkari.
The BJP had accused the Congress of planting devices in the residence of Gadkari so that they could listen into the strategy being planned ahead of the 2014 general elections.
The issue had become pretty serious although the Congress dismissed it as a fiction of the BJP's imagination. Rahul Gandhi too spoke out on the issue and laughed it off by saying, "do they think we did it?"