Rahul Gandhi snooping row: BJP rejects charges, terms it 'routine visit'

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra said on Saturday that Delhi Police officials visiting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's residence and making queries about him was a routine process.

Updated: Mar 14, 2015, 20:38 PM IST

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra said on Saturday that Delhi Police officials visiting Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's residence and making queries about him was a routine process.

“This was a routine process and BS Bassi has himself clarified it with every technical detail,” Sambit Patra told reporters here.

 Another party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi also ridiculed espionage charges levelled by the Congress, quipping the party considered itself to be above the law.

"They think that the common practices of law do not apply to them," he said, adding: "If they call it espionage, then it shows their mentality."

The Delhi Police, earlier in the day, had also rejected allegations of snooping, saying it was a routine exercise of being in touch with dignitaries.

"Rahul Gandhi was not targeted by the police. It was a routine activity which is done to keep records of vulnerable personalities. Police also visited houses of Veerappa Moily, LK Advani, K Chandrasekhar Rao among others. There was no malafide intension behind seeking details about Gandhi," Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi told reporters here.

The Police Commissioner further said police was never asked either by Prime Minister Office or Home Ministry to visit Rahul's residence and asserted that there was no political pressure on police.

"Two cops went to Rahul Gandhi's residence. Our beat officer Rameshwar Dayal went to his house on March 12 and sought details about him. As beat officers are not able to directly meet such persons, they contact their office staff and leave performa pertaining to required details," Bassi said.

According to Bassi, on the same day, Dayal went to the houses of MP Krishan Pal Gujjar, Naresh Agarwal, M Veerappa Moily and Telengana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Beat officers are instructed to meet the staff of important people living in the area falling under their jurisdiction and keep a personal information about them, he also said.

Bassi added that police keeps details of all vulnerable leaders like Amit Shah, Sonia Gandhi, 7, Race Course Road.

However, dismissing both police chief and BJP`s claims, Congress created a major furore over the matter.

The Congress Party demanded an explanation from both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the alleged intrusion by Delhi Police into Rahul Gandhi's personal life.

Meanwhile, scores of Youth Congress workers protested outside the residence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the alleged "political espionage" of Rahul Gandhi by Delhi police. Youth Congress claimed that two of its workers were injured in police action.

Police on the other hand said that they used minimum force to deter the protesters who were trying to break the barricades and barge in. The protesters were then detained and taken to Parliament Street Police Station.

"Two Youth Congress workers Indrani Mishra and Sidhartha Kundu were injured in the police action as we were protesting outside the Home Minister's residence," Youth Congress President Amrinder Singh Raja said after the protests, according to PTI.

Senior party leader Ambika Soni later visited Parliament Police Station, where the protesting Youth Congress workers were taken for detention.

According to reports, a team of the Delhi Police visited Rahul Gandhi's office last week to inquire about his physical features.

The police have, however, so far not been unable to give any credible explanation for the inquiry.

The incident takes place at a time when the Congress vice-president is on a leave doing introspection for the party's dismal show in the Delhi Assembly polls. He is not even attending the crucial Budget Session of the Parliament that is underway.

(With Agency inputs)