`Bugging a non-event, no civil war with Pranab`
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Last Updated: Sunday, June 26, 2011, 09:11
  
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 theory."

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."

PTI


First Published: Sunday, June 26, 2011, 09:11


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