Nitin Gadkari bugged, confusion in BJP: Controversy Explained

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Nitin Gadkari
Bangalore, July 28: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari overruled all reports regarding spying at his residence at Teen Murti Lane in New Delhi. However, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's statement created confusion in the party and in media.

What is the Controversy?

  • A high-power bug was accidentally found in the minister's bungalow, said a report in the news weekly The Sunday Guardian.
  • More such devices were found following the process of debugging the device which was found at first, added the media report.
  • Sunday's report claimed that the bugs were "planted by a foreign agency."
  • It also asserted that such sophisticated listening devices were "used only by western intelligence operatives, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the NSA."
  • The report also recalled previous controversies regarding "snooping row" between India and the US.
  • Earlier former security contractor Edward Snowden released a few sensational documents regarding snooping by US on BJP.
  • Edward had revealed that National Security Agency (NSA) was authorized to spy on the BJP in 2010.
  • NDA government-led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi summoned American diplomats and lodged a strong protest after documents leaked by Snowden.

What is Gadkari saying?

  • Despite such reports, Gadkari refused to comment on such controversy calling all media reports "speculative".
  • Gadkari tweeted, "Reports in a section of the media about listening devices having been found at my New Delhi residence are highly speculative."

What is Subramanian Swamy saying?

  • Subramanian Swamy, meanwhile, urged Modi government to make an official statement on the issue.
  • Swamy said, "My own investigations and my sources reveal that this may happen not later than October last year."
  • Swamy also added, "The planting of the device and that means at that time, when the UPA was in power, the NSA has specifically targeted the BJP and Gadkari was a very important person. He had the confidence of the RSS."

What is Home Ministry saying?

  • However, Kiran Rijiju -- the Union Minister of State for Home, too rejected all the appeals calling for a probe.
  • Rijiju was quoted as saying, "Gadkari himself has called it speculation. If that is the case, how can we intervene?"

How is Congress reacting?

  • Former PM Manmohan Singh, however, asked for a probe saying, "If ministers' houses are bugged, then it is not a good omen."
  • "It should be investigated. How can it happen? It should be explained by the ruling dispensation," added Singh.
  • A government official, on the condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying, "The IB regularly sweeps offices of ministers who handle sensitive ministries at their request."
  • "But as far as residences are concerned, I don't think the IB has conducted such an exercise," added the official.
  • Congress, meanwhile, hinted at internal war in BJP as Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala said that the incident reflected a certain lack of faith among ministerial colleagues and an absence of mutual trust.
  • Asking the government to reveal the culprit's name, the spokesperson said, "It's time that both Gadkari and also the BJP and government come clean on the issue."

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