New Delhi: Terming as "very intimidating" Arun Jaitley`s remarks that he would be surprised if some judge would agree to "lend" himself for the snoopgate inquiry, Congress on Friday said it was an "advance warning of the shape of things to come".
Party spokesman and Union Minister Anand Sharma dubbed the BJP leader as a "known apologist of Narendra Modi" and said his remarks are "literally very intimidating" and "in fact threatening" and conveying a sense as to who among the judges "can dare" to come forward for such a probe against the BJP`s PM candidate.
"I do not expect anything better from Jaitley, who is a known apologist of Narendra Modi. He has literally intimidated by saying which judge will accept to inquire. He is curious to know the identity of the judge. This is in fact threatening or conveying a message that you dare to get into this or inquire," he said.
Taking a dig at the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, who is contesting Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar, Sharma suggested that Jaitley was seeking a very high office and was seeking to gain trust and confidence of Modi, but "there can be a slip between the cup and the lip" given the electoral arithmetic.
In a Facebook post, Jaitley wrote that all the judges approached by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had refused to be a part of the "desperate" exercise and "political and malafide" move.
"Media reports have indicated that the lame duck UPA Government is finally planning to name a judge for the `Snoopgate` Commission I will be very curious to know the name of the Judge who has agreed to lend himself to the UPA," he said.
Law minister Kapil Sibal has already said that the UPA would appoint a judge to probe the snoopgate scandal before the result day on May 16.
The snooping controversy had surfaced in the run-up to the assembly elections late last year after two investigative news websites made public tapes in which Modi`s aide Amit Shah was purportedly heard directing the police to put a young woman and a senior IAS officer under surveillance in 2009 allegedly at the behest of the Gujarat Chief Minister.