Snooping row: BJP defends Narendra Modi, Amit Shah; launches counter attack

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 11:00

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

Ahmedabad: With political parties, including Congress, raking up the snooping scandal involving Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his close aide Amit Shah, the BJP on Wednesday jumped to their defence and launched a counter-attack on its rivals for politicising the issue.

Addressing a press briefing, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, "Congress is playing a dirty politics by trying to give a political twist to a personal matter. It`s shameful."

Coming down heavily on Congress, the BJP spokesman said, "If BJP were to come down to Congress` level to play dirty politics then it will be a huge embarrassment for them."

"By raking up the snooping and the stalking issue, Congress is actually persecuting the family and invading their privacy," Javadekar added.

The reaction from the main opposition party came after the snooping scandal snowballed into a huge political controversy.

Two investigative news portals, Cobrapost.Com and Gulail.Com, had claimed on November 15 that Amit Shah, an aide of Modi and former Minister of State for Home of Gujarat, had ordered illegal surveillance of a woman at the behest of one "Saheb".

However, adding a fresh twist to the snooping row, the father of the woman told the National Commission of Women (NCW) that his daughter does not want any probe into the issue as there was no encroachment on her privacy.

"It is an earnest wish of my daughter that no further probe (in snooping issue) is necessary as being politically demanded," he said today in a letter to NCW and Gujarat State Commission for Women.

"I, on behalf of my daughter, urge that whatever help was rendered upon my request was within her knowledge and in her own interest, safety and security, and there has been no encroachment on her privacy as sought to be made out," he said in the two-page letter.

"My daughter is an architect and educated person. She is married and deeply perturbed by the intrusion upon her personal life and privacy. With a view to ensure that her anonymity and whereabouts remain out of public gaze, she has requested me to write this letter to the honourable Commission (NCW) on her behalf and at her request," he said.
"In 2009, due to personal and family reasons, I had made a request to the Chief Minister, Gujarat to take steps in my daughter`s interest. Considering the fact that the issues bothering me and my family were personal in nature, I deemed it fit to make an oral request to the Chief Minister (Modi) as political head of the state of Gujarat with whom I have long standing relations spread over two decades", he said.

"My daughter is fully aware of all types of help that was rendered by the State machinery considering a genuine request of a father for his daughter. She is fully conscious that the said help was absolutely necessary and was in her own interest, safety and security," the father said.

"Inspite of above facts, issues concerning my married daughter, her personal life and of my family are being publicly raised by certain vested interest groups in the media ostensibly on grounds that her right of privacy is violated," the letter said.
The clarification from the woman’s father came after political parties blew it to attack the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat.

Two investigative news portals, Cobrapost.Com and Gulail.Com, had released taped conversations between Shah and IPS officer G L Singhal to support their claim, but said its authenticity could not be confirmed.

Congress and CPI (M), among other parties, have demanded a probe into the illegal surveillance episode allegedly involving Shah.

Hitting out on BJP, Janata Dal (U) leader KC Tyagi said, "Narendra Modi, Amit Shah are no Geeta or Quran that they can`t be probed." (Modi and Shah koi Geeta ya Qoran nahiin hain kii unkii jaanch nahi ho saktii.)

"Till investigations are not completed, Narendra Modi must step down as CM," Tyagi said in his reaction to the snooping scandal.

With PTI inputs

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First Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 11:00

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