New Delhi: Narendra Modi and his government "cannot hide behind conspiratorial amnesia" over the issue of surveillance of a woman, Congress said on Wednesday, raising the pitch over the controversy which it said was turning into a "huge snooping racket".
Asking the BJP PM candidate as also his close associate and former home minister of Gujarat Amit Shah to break their silence on the issue, party spokesman Randip Singh Surjewala wondered whether Modi could be trusted to protect rights of citizens in a state or country.
Amid reports of surveillance of political opponents of the Gujarat Chief Minister, Surjewala said this has raised questions over Modi`s "capacity and credibility" to hold public office".
Addressing the media along with the Mahila Congress chief Shobha Oza, Surjewala said that the "conspiratorial amnesia of BJP as also Gujarat government on the issue is preposterous and condemnable."
He wanted to know "how many more people, political opponents like Shanker Singh Vaghela, journalists, human right activists, officers of the administrative and police services, lawyers and witnesses have been similarly snooped around and have fallen victim to this huge snooping racket?"
Besides, he asked, whether the decision to snoop, pry into people`s lives, to conduct physical surveillance by misuse of state machinery, whether all this can be based on personal whims and fancies of a state`s elected Chief Minister and his Home Minister
He wondered whether it was proper to use state machinery as "personal fiefdom", or "whether surveillance and snooping have to be necessarily based on overwhelming public safety and entailing danger to life and security of a large number of people or a state of emergency".