Uproar in Parl over Rahul snooping issue: As it happened

The issue of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's alleged snooping rocked Parliament on Monday.  

Uproar in Parl over Rahul snooping issue: As it happened

New Delhi: The issue of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's alleged snooping rocked Parliament on Monday. Here are the live updates:

  • This is a security check, not snooping. Such security checks have been conducted earlier also, says Delhi Police chief BS Bassi.
  • Why police may be wanting to know about the shoe number of political leaders is because the body of a former PM was identified with the help of the shoe he was wearing - Jaitley
  • Congress is making an issue out of a non-issue, says Arun Jaitley.
  • It's a routine exercise taken up by police, Congress should not politicise the issue - Naidu

​​Also Read: Followed procedure on collecting information, says Naidu

  • Naidu lists names of former PMs, current and ex-Union ministers and other political leaders who have been profiled in the past.
  • Even the current President Pranab Mukherjee was profiled when he was the finance minister during UPA rule - Naidu
  • Such profiling is being done since 1957, it's nothing new, says Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu
  • Sonia Gandhi has never filled any such proforma, says Kharge
  • Is Gujarat model being emulated in India by Modi government - Kharge
  • When govt has a minute-by-minute information on Rahul Gandhi since he is an SPG protectee, what was the reason for the Delhi Police Commissioner to send police personnel to Rahul Gandhi's residence for profiling, asks Kharge
  • Govt is snooping on Rahul Gandhi - Kharge
  • Personal rights of politicians are being violated, alleges Kharge
  • Is India a police state, asks Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in Lok Sabha
  • Congress stages walkout in Rajya Sabha
  • 526 forms were filled during UPA regime, I can show all these forms - Jaitley
  • Former PMs like HD Deve Gowda, IK Gujaral, Manmohan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, myself, LK Advani ji, all these leaders have been profiled in the past.

Also Read: No snooping on Rahul Gandhi, it is "transparent profiling", says Arun Jaitley

  • Let the security forces decide what they want to ask in the proforma.
  • Format of the proforma was changed in 1999.
  • Snooping is done silently, not by asking leaders to fill a proforma - Jaitley
  • Political leaders have been profiled in writing since 1987 when Congress was in power - Jaitley​
  • The issue you have raised today is making a mountain out of what is not even a mole hill - Jaitley​
  • Facts presented in this House have a certain amount of sanctity. Gossip cannot be treated as facts – Jaitley
  • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is now speaking.
  • Over 1 lakh phones are being tapped everyday. Phones should be tapped of criminals but not of political leaders - Agarwal
  • MPs are not just being snooped upon but their phones are also being tapped - Agarwal
  • I am not just raising the issue of Rahul Gandhi but of all MPs – SP's Naresh Agarwal
  • Arun Jaitley must reply on corporate espionage to political espionage, including the profiling of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi - Tyagi
  • This format of profiling was first prepared in 1957, says JD(U)'s KC Tyagi
  • We demand the Home Minister to come to Parliament and make a statement on the issue- Azad
  • This is not a police state; India is proud of its democracy - Azad
  • Is the government trying to create fear among political parties by way of such 'snooping', asks Azad.
  • Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad says in Rajya Sabha that Rahul Gandhi is an SPG protectee and how come Delhi Police suddenly needed to know such private details, like the colour of eyes and shoe number, from the Congress vice-president?
  • BSP chief Mayawati says outside Parliament that security officials conduct such routine inquiries to ensure security of public figures, but adds that “the way this inquiry was conducted in absence of Rahul Gandhi, creates a sense of doubt”.  
  • Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu says the government is ready to give a reply on the issue but want s the Question Hour to continue. He adds that profiling of leaders by Delhi Police is nothing new and has been going on for years.
  • Congress, JD(U) and Samajwadi Party have given notices for adjournment of Question Hour to debate the snooping issue.
  • Both Houses of Parliament convene.
  • We will raise this issue in Parliament today. I've been under Z-plus security for 19 years but no such routine security check was conducted on me, says Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
  • Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi is meeting MoS Home Kiren Rijiju and Home Secretary LC Goyal in Parliament over Rahul Gandhi snooping row.

Also Read: Delhi Police chief briefs Rijiju, likely to make statement in LS

  • Police only conduct a routine security check, there is nothing wrong. Government is no way involved in this - Naidu  
  • What are they (Congress) talking about? They were snooping on me, Advani ji, Amit Shah ji and Narendra Modi ji, says Venkaiah Naidu.
  • Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju may make a statement in both Houses of Parliament today on the 'snooping' row, say sources. Home Minister Rajnath Singh is currently away on a foreign tour.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is right now meeting with top BJP ministers in Parliament complex. Among those present are Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari and Sushma Swaraj.
  • Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi has reached Parliament.
  • Congress must know the difference between routine security inquiry and snooping, they're raising a non-issue out of frustration, says MoS Parliamentary Affairs and BJP leader MA Naqvi.
  • Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal has alleged that the Centre is tapping phones of Opposition leaders. “The Home minister should clarify otherwise we will not let Parliament function,” says Agarwal.
  • We will certainly raise this issue in Parliament with all the strength at our command, says Ashwini Kumar of the Congress

Also Read: Secret surveillance at VIPs' residence unacceptable, similar to 'espionage', says Congress

  • It's almost similar to espionage, Delhi Police officer is not revealing his identity - Chacko
  • If police is conducting secret surveillance at VIPs' residence, this is unacceptable. We need an answer on this, says Congress leader PC Chacko
  • I have given a notice in Parliament and demanded a thorough debate on political espionage to corporate espionage, says KC Tyagi of the JD(U)
  • One is unable to understand what is the substance of Congress protest. Delhi Police has said that it was routine exercise and over 500 people were profiled – BJP leader Nalin Kohli
  • Congress leader Manish Tewari has called for a debate in Parliament over the issue of profiling of public figures. He said: “The intent and entire exercise is absurd in its entirety. What is going to come out of this profiling of public figures? It’s high time that Parliament debated (the issue), there must be a legal basis and oversight of our intelligence agencies, to put an end to this.”

Also Read: Rahul ‘snooping’: Are we running a colonial govt? asks Manish Tewari

  • Miffed over the visit of Delhi police officials to the party office here seeking details of Rahul Gandhi's physical appearance, the Congress is all set to raise the issue in Parliament on Monday.

The Congress is expected to bring other opposition parties on board and demand a statement from PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue.

Upping the ante on the issue, Congress on Sunday 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 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 in New Delhi.

Terming the incident "Snoopgate 2", Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said the prime minister needed to explain why the government needed details of a person protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG).

Delhi Police personnel visited Rahul Gandhi's residence last week and also sought details about his height and colour of eyes and hair.

A team, led by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal, visited Gandhi's Tughlak Lane residence to enquire about the sequence of events.

The team also checked the pictures of the policemen who had visited Rahul's residence a couple of days ago and enquired about the colour of Congress leader's eyes and hairs.

The Delhi Police on Saturday said it was a routine security enquiry. As the news surfaced, the Ministry of Home Affairs asked for a report from the Delhi Police in this regard.

Rejecting the allegation of snooping on Gandhi, the Delhi Police said the visit by policemen to his office was a routine practise of being in touch with the dignitaries and there was no malafide in it.

Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi clarified that such surveys were conducted at the offices of all protected persons from time to time owing to prevention and detection of crime and maintaining of law and order.

"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," Bassi told reporters here.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Congress of trying to politicize the issues.

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.

In Hyderabad, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said PM Modi or Rajnath Singh were in no way involved in the police trying to find out details about Rahul Gandhi.

Rahul is on a sabbatical since the start of the Budget session of Parliament on February 23.

Rahul Gandhi snooping row: Is the Congress making an issue out of a non-issue? in Nation on LockerDome

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