`Bugging a non-event, no civil war with Pranab`

Home Minister P Chidambaram dismissed as "feverish and hyperactive imagination" allegations of civil war between him and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday dismissed as "feverish and hyperactive imagination" allegations of civil war between him and Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee and termed the reported bugging in his office
as a "non-event".

He said the BJP`s allegations in this regard were only
an attempt "to see a ghost where none exists".

"The FM and I are separated by 10 years in age. He is
elder, wiser and more senior. He chairs a number of GoMs and I
am a member of practically everyone of them.

"We speak to each other everyday and we consult each
other on a contnuous basis. It is only a feverish and hyper
active imagination that can look for ghosts where none
exists," he said to a private news channel.

He was replying to BJP`s charge that there was a civil
war between Finance Minister and Home Minister.

Referring to the BJP`s criticism, Chidambaram said
"I think they are hyper-active minds and hyper-active
imagintaion. I think they live under the shadow of daily
war between two leaders of opposition in their own party and,
therefore, they look for ghosts where none exist."

About the reported bugging incident in the offices of
Finance Minister and his aides in the North Block, he said
he did not know about it until he saw it in newspapers.

He said apparently last September or October, the
Intelligence Bureau was asked to look into this complaint or
suspcion that the Finance Minister`s office had been "bugged".

"They went into it. There was a complete investigation.
They sent the substrance to forensic lab. They got a report
that it was an adhesive kind of substance. There was no
evidence of any bug being planted anywhere."

Asked whether the IB had not shared the report with him
and as Home Minister he had no idea, Chidambaram said "because
it was dismissed as non-event."

When pressed further as to whether that an incident in
FM`s office can be dismissed as a non-event, he said "if there
had been anything, they would have brought it to my notice. It
was a report that was given to the Finance Minister and and
the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh)."

To a question whether should he not have been informed
first, the Home Minister said "not necessarily because it was
a non-event and there was nothing in it."

He said he did not think anyone "suspected" actual
bugging. "I think the so-called bugging theory is a recent

Asked whether it was proper for CBDT to hire private
experts to investigate an incident in North Block, he said
"well, I dont know the facts about this. Apparently CBDT
was asked to or offered to look into this matter."


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