Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat on Friday said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's tapping of telephones of political leaders was “illegal and intolerable.”

“The UPA government…has to own up responsibility and take action against those responsible. Further safeguards should be there against such misuse of security agencies,'' Mr. Karat said.

English news magazine Outlook in its report said phones of some prominent political leaders including Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Congress leader Digvijay Singh, Mr. Karat and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were tapped by National Technical Research Organisation, an intelligence agency created in the aftermath of the Kargil war to cover all aspects of technical intelligence gathering.

It said Mr. Karat's phone was tapped in 2008, when the CPI(M) was opposing the India-U.S. nuclear deal while Mr. Pawar's phone was tapped recently in the wake of the IPL scandal.

BJP Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha S.S. Ahluwalia said his party would raise the issue in Parliament on Monday. He contended that the tapping was violation of Article 21 of the Constitution which assures protection of life and liberty to every citizen.

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