Congress attacks Modi over Snoopgate; calls Gujarat `police state`

Last Updated: Friday, April 4, 2014 - 00:37

New Delhi: Latching on to Gujarat`s affidavit before the Supreme Court on snoopgate, Congress on Thursday launched a blistering attack on Narendra Modi saying the state was "converted into a police state" and demanded a thorough probe into phone tappings during his regime.

Commerce Minister and party spokesperson Anand Sharma cautioned people against Modi`s "dictatorial model of governance" while another party member wondered if this kind of Gujarat model would be replicated across the nation.

Facing a barrage of question as to why the government is yet to find a judge to head the commission of inquiry into the snoopgate, which the Centre had announced four months back, Sharma hoped that a judge would come forward after this affidavit.

"This is the Gujarat model of governance and adminstration... To listen to every conversation...Then it is used to harass people. Gujarat has been converted through these actions into a police state. It is reflection of a mindset that is dictatorial not democratic.
"The Supreme Court should order a comprehensive probe not only in this case but into the entire gamut of how many phones were tapped during his regime," Sharma said.

Congress women`s wing chief and spokesperson Shobha Oza said, "The question is before the country. Will this Gujarat model be replicated in the whole country?"

The state government had reportedly told the court that a female architect was put under surveillance at the request of her father to ensure her safety "due to certain personality traits" of suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma.

Political rivals of the BJP prime ministerial nominee and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi took advantage of the snoopgate row to attack him.

The UPA government also decided to set up a judicial commission to probe the matter, which hangs fire as the government is yet to find a judge to head that panel.

"Gujarat government gave an affidavit to the Supreme Court and admitted that surveillance was carried out and that was in the knowledge of the concerned lady and her father. This affidavit is an admission that surveillance was indeed carried out on the orders of Amit Shah at the behest of Saheb (Modi), something, which the BJP leaders have been denying so far.

"This is an open admission of illegal and unauthorised tappings," Oza said, who also parried questions as to why the UPA government was not able to find a judge to head the commission of inquiry into the snoopgate.

Replying to questions, Sharma said that it`s not a question of loss of face for victory.
"This is a matter of grave national concern...That person continues to remain Chief Minister at whose behest something was done, which no Chief Minister or minister is allowed to do. We are also awaiting a response from Modi and Gujarat government.

"Modi is yet to utter a word as to why this illegal act has been committed. Under law, no agency is do this for which the permission of the country`s Home Minister is required," he said.


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First Published: Friday, April 4, 2014 - 00:37

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