Testing by Vaibhav for Fitness section

New Delhi: As a controversy erupted over reported attempts of bugging his office, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday asked the media not to waste time on "bogus things".

"All these are bogus things. Don`t waste your time on this," he shot back at reporters who sought replies on his statement yesterday that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) found nothing in alleged bugging of his offices.

Reported bugging of the offices of the minister and his aides in North Block has raised the hackles of those in government and Opposition parties have demanded an investigation, calling it a serious issue.

Mukherjee had yesterday said that the Intelligence Bureau had investigated the matter but found nothing. He was reacting to a report in a leading daily that said the minister had feared serious security breach in his office.

According to the report, Mukherjee in September last year urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to order a quiet probe into what he reportedly felt was a "serious breach of security" in his office.

The Intelligence Bureau found some adhesive, a sort of chewing gum, planted at 16 locations at the North Block office of the Finance Minister including rooms of two aides.

"In respect of the news item regarding bugging in my office, I believe the investigative agency found nothing," Mukherjee said yesterday.

Describing the reported bugging as "India`s Watergate", Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has sought to know if the government was spying on its own minister or a corporate house was doing so.

Terming the security breach as a serious issue, she described the IB’s chewing gum theory as a big joke.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which has also its office in the premises, engaged a private detective team, which found adhesive at three locations along the edge of Mukherjee`s table among other places. Grooves were found on the surface which could have been the imprint of a possible device, the report said.

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