BJP and JD(U) today demanded that the government should come out clearly on the controversy over alleged tapping of phones of prominent MPs belonging to Opposition parties, saying it was a serious matter.
"This government has continuously engaged in snooping and there are several agents in this regime who are involved in spying on leaders. First this government was found spying on its ministers, then its allies and now the Opposition leaders. This is a serious matter," BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters outside Parliament House.
BJP demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should come out with a clarification on the issue.
"If the government spends even 50 per cent of the energy it is wasting on spying on India's security, and combating terrorism and
naxalism, then the country would have benefited and the government would clean some of the taint of failure," Naqvi said.
Asked if the tapping of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley's phone was being done at the behest of his detractors in BJP, Naqvi vehemently denied it.
JD(U) spokesperson and MP Shivanand Tiwari said there were reports that his phone as well as those of his party colleague N K Singh and SP leader Ramgopal Yadav have been tapped.
"Who is tapping these phones and who is getting them tapped. More worrisome is that the machine used for tapping these phones have been brought to the country in big numbers and it is very easy to tap the phones," he said.
Tiwari demanded that a probe be ordered to find out the people behind tapping of phones. "It seems there is no government and everybody is doing as he wants," he said.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded concrete steps to prevent alleged phone tapping incidents in the future.
"It is the government's responsibility and government should probe it. Efforts should be made to initiate concrete steps so that such incidents do not happen again," he said outside Parliament.
Asked whether government or private agencies are involved in phone tapping, the SP chief said, "This will be clear after the probe."
Describing phone tapping as a "wrong tradition", JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said, "The probe into the phone tapping is on. There are some different type of people involved in phone tapping. All things will come up after the probe. A wrong tradition has begun."
"People are hiring experts for bugging phones. One does not know what is the government's role, how much government is involved. All this will be clear after the inquiry," he said.
Sharad Yadav said, "One is entitled to his or her private life which is protected in the Constitution."
Asked if it has anything to do with BJP's internal fighting, the JD(U) leader said this will also be clear after the probe.
Congress MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi said, "It is the opposition's duty to accuse government (of wrong doing) and they are doing it. When probe is going on they should have patience. Truth will come out."
Taking a dig at the BJP, the Cong MP said, "The party fears that their internal squabble will come out in the open."
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