BJP, Cong sparring over snooping row gets shriller

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 23:34

New Delhi/Mumbai: Sparring over the illegal snooping row got shriller on Tuesday with the Congress fielding two senior ministers to taken on Narendra Modi asking him to "come clean" on it and the BJP accusing the ruling party of engaging in "mafia-style politics" to target the opposition.

Slamming the BJP on the issue of a young woman being stalked allegedly at the behest of Amit Shah, close aide of Modi, Union minister Kapil Sibal said the time has come for the main opposition to come clean on the "real story behind the manufactured one".
Sibal rubbished BJP chief Rajnath Singh`s allegation that the "dirty tricks department" of the Congress is behind the whole issue.

In Mumbai, Finance Minister P Chidambaram took a dig at the Modi government, saying that in the "wonderful state of Gujarat, security is provided by stalking and snooping".

"The first time I have heard that there is a request for providing security and in that wonderful state, security is provided by stalking and snooping," he told reporters.
He was asked about Shah, former minister of state for home in Gujarat, being accused of misusing his powers and police machinery for illegal surveillance of a young woman in 2009.

"I think this is condemnable. Providing security isn`t the same as stalking, providing security is not the same as snooping," he said.

Faced with a blistering Congress attack on Modi, BJP said the ruling party is engaging in "mafia-style politics to target the opposition through proxies like CBI and IAS officer Pradeep Sharma" as it cannot defeat them in an open contest.

Two investigative news portals, Cobrapost and Gulail, had claimed on November 15 that Shah had ordered illegal surveillance of the woman at the behest of one "saheb".

They had released taped conversation between Shah and IPS officer G L Singhal to support their claim but said its authenticity could not be confirmed.

In Jabalpur, Rajnath Singh said when the tape was with the
CBI, how did it reach the hands of Cobrapost.

"Rajnath Singh has said that this is the work of the Congress tricks department. I am a little surprised by that comment because the Macbeth of Indian politics today is not a Congressman. The dramatic persona is not Congressman, the actors in this particular episode were not Congressmen, the script was not written by Congressmen and the victim certainly is not a Congress person," Sibal said.

He went on to add, "So I do not know how the Congress tricks department got into this. The person who recorded is also someone who has nothing to do with the Congress party. So I think they do not know what to say and its time to have some answers.`
Asked about Shah`s silence on the issue, Sibal said BJP was playing politics of "no response".

Hitting back, BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Congress was resorting to such "dirty tricks" to target Modi as it is set for a "shameful defeat" in the elections.

"Congress is depressed, disappointed and frustrated today. But we are neither surprised nor angry with the mental state of the Congress. Infact, we pity them," Naqvi said.
"Congress feels that through dirty tricks and criminal conspiracies it can save itself. It should rename the party as Indian Conspiracy Congress. It is not going to succeed in its designs," the BJP leader said.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 23:34

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