Rahul Gandhi snooping row: Shashi Tharoor accuses govt of misusing police

Congress leader and MP from Kerala, Shashi Tharoor, took on the Modi-led NDA government on Sunday over party vice president Rahul Gandhi snooping controversy.

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2015, 10:07 AM IST
Rahul Gandhi snooping row: Shashi Tharoor accuses govt of misusing police

Delhi: Congress leader and MP from Kerala, Shashi Tharoor, took on the Modi-led NDA government on Sunday over party vice president Rahul Gandhi snooping controversy.

In a series of tweets, Tharoor slammed the NDA govt asking it to explain as to why details of a person protected by the SPG was sought.

He posted on the micro-blogging site Twitter: “Original snoopgate involved misuse of Gujarat government machinery for surveillance of woman. Snoopgate 2 involves misuse of police versus opponents?”

In another post he wrote: “Police sought telephone numbers, addresses of Rahul Gandhi's associates and friends. Delhi Police needs to clarify why this information was needed.”

Another tweet by Tharoor said: “PMO India needs to explain why it needs details of a person protected by the SPG. All his movements are recorded by SPG.”

Meanwhile, upping the ante, Congress today alleged that other Opposition leaders are also being "snooped" on Gujarat pattern and the party will raise the matter in Parliament.

"The present government has much to answer when it comes to right of privacy of citizens. They are are now trying to do it everywhere what was happening in one state. Both Modi and Amit Shah are now here. It is not confined to one person. It is much deeper. The practice that they had adopted in Gujarat, they want to carry it out now every where," party spokesperson Anand Sharma told reporters at the AICC office here, as per PTI.

He had also justified his remarks in an interview, claiming that senior opposition leaders' phones are being "tapped" and surveillance is being carried on them.

Asked whether he has any proof to back his allegation, Sharma said,"letters are not sent for phone tapping to polical leaders, judges and others...It can be proved only if the Prime Minister, Home Minister give letters to Opposition leaders regarding their phone tapping."

The Congress spokesperson said that leaders of Opposition had raised the issue of their phones being tapped in the the last session as well and the Home Minister said there is no such thing.

Maintaining that India cannot be allowed to be converted into a police state, the Congress leader said,"we will raise the issue in Parliament.

While Delhi police had yesterday itself rejected allegations of snooping, saying it was a routine exercise of being in touch with dignitaries, Congress has accused the Modi government of carrying out "political espionage" on Gandhi and demanded a "comprehensive explanation from no less than the Home Minsiter and the Prime Minister.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Delhi police officials, who visited the party Vice President's residence, had made "unwarranted and weird" enquiries about him.

Youth Congress workers had protested outside the residence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the alleged "political espionage" of Gandhi.

BJP had hit back at Congress saying the opposition party has the habit of seeing conspiracies even in "routine" matters and considered itself above the law.

Gandhi is on a sabbatical since the start of the Budget session of Parliament on February 23. Some police officials went to his residence on March 12 and reportedly asked how he looks like and what is the colour of his eyes etc.

(With PTI inputs)