The BJP on Saturday demanded a CBI probe into all aspects of the alleged phone tapping in Rajasthan a day after the State government lodged a case against Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on charges of trying to destabilise the Ashok Gehlot government by attempting to buy MLAs.
At a press conference, party spokesperson Sambit Patra said the events unfolding in Rajasthan were a mix of “conspiracy, lies and illegalities” by the Congress government in the State.
“We heard yesterday through the Chief Minister’s own words that he hadn’t spoken to his deputy [Sachin Pilot] in 18 months. It points to a clear situation of a cold war at the heart of the Congress government in Rajasthan,” he said.
Mr. Patra then enumerated five questions on the alleged phone tapping tapes made public by All India Congress Committe general secretary Randeep Surjewala on Friday.
“Phone tapping can only be done by authorised agencies as per due process of law and subject to approved safe-guards and SOPs. Each case is also reviewed by a committee chaired by a Cabinet Secretary in case of Central and State Secretary in case of a State government,” he said.
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“These are serious questions that we want to ask the Rajasthan Congress and Ashok Gehlot. ...Was phone tapping done? The Congress govt in Rajasthan must answer. ....Secondly, is it not a sensitive and legal issue, if phone tapping has been done? Assuming that you've tapped phones, was the SOP followed? The people of Rajasthan want to know whether their privacy has been compromised. Did the Congress government in Rajasthan use unconstitutional ways to save themselves when they found themselves cornered? And finally is the phone of any person who is related to politics being tapped?“ asked Mr. Patra.
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“We demand a CBI probe into all the illegalities of this alleged tapping,” he said.
The BJP’s aggressive stance comes after the case against Mr. Shekhawat and after the Haryana police rushed to regulate the ingress of a Special Operations Group from Rajasthan at the Manesar hotel where rebel Congress MLAs loyal to Mr. Pilot are lodged.