Worry about government's credibility, Advani tells PM

Referring indirectly to the Radia tapes, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani wondered on Tuesday whether it was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who had taken decisions on Cabinet formation or some corporate lobbyist.

“He seems to be worried about leakages of tapped telephone conversations and about tapping that may be done by agencies other than those of the government. Is this something a Prime Minister should be worried about?,” Mr. Advani told journalists here.

Mr. Advani was referring to Dr. Singh's comments earlier in the day while inaugurating India Corporate Week 2010.

The Prime Minister said he had asked the Cabinet Secretary to look into the issue of telephone tapping and find out whether there could be any technical solution to prevent systems outside the government framework accessing telephone conversations.

The government's power to tap telephones was necessary to protect national security and prevent tax evasion and money-laundering, he said, but this should be exercised with the utmost care to prevent any misuse of procedures and mechanisms.

Mr. Advani found this concern rather odd, given that the Radia tapes had shown the role of corporate lobbyists in government formation and selection of Ministers for specific portfolios. “Earlier, we thought the Cabinet was decided at 10, Janpath [a reference to Congress president Sonia Gandhi], but now it would seem corporate lobbyists played a role.”

He would rather Dr. Singh worried more about his government's credibility after the Radiagate exposure than about how telephones were tapped and why the tapes were leaked.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 2:09:24 PM |

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