New Delhi, March 16: It was a day in Lok Sabha where the ruling party had to give an example of a slain prime minister to counter its opposition.
Reacting to ruckus created by Congress in the Lok Sabha over the alleged snooping on party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "The body of a former prime minister who was assassinated was identified by the shoes he was wearing."
"Therefore, what kind of shoe you wear may look funny to the Congress party today but it is relevant for security purposes."
Jaitley added that collecting information about political leaders was "relevant" for security purposes and the Congress party should not "invent an issue which does not exist".
Rajiv Gandhi assassination:
Rajiv Gandhi and 14 others were killed on May 21, 1991 when a suicide bomber blew herself up after touching his feet at an election campaign rally (prior to the parliamentary elections), in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai.
He was wearing a running shoes, easier on the feet for long days on the hustings. Those shoes helped the police to identify his mutilated body.
Arguing that forms containing information about former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were revised every two years under the UPA, Jaitley said, "If its snooping they (police) will do it on the sly, if they come to your house and ask you to fill up details it is not snooping. It is for security purposes."
"I can understand you are short of issues. Don't invent an issue which does not exist," he added.
The Congress on Sunday, March 15, demanded an explanation from the Prime Minister's Office on why the police were seeking details about its vice president Rahul Gandhi even as the BJP accused the opposition party of making an issue out of a "routine" security-related inquiry.
(With inputs from agencies)