Congress today accused the Narendra Modi government of carrying out "political espionage" on Rahul Gandhi claiming his staff had caught a Delhi Police official seeking "unwarranted and weird" enquiries about him.
Declaring that the issue of "snooping and surveillance" on Gandhi would be raised in Parliament, the party demanded a "comprehensive explanation from no less than the Home Minsiter and the Prime Minister" rejecting the police claim that the episode as merely a security issue.
Rahul is on a sabbatical since the start of the budget session of Parliament late last month.
Detailing the sequence of events after a media report on Delhi Police visiting Rahul’s office and asking questions how he looks like, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said such "snooping" was "perfected in Gujarat" earlier.
"This kind of political espionage, snooping and surveillance, this kind of intrusion in politcial opponents’ life–this may be Gujarat model. It is not India’s model.
The track record shows it is a model perfected in Gujarat especially for political opponents, judges, journalists and private persons.
"We are charging the government, condemning it and strongly deprecating this kind of conduct. It is not only specific to Congress and Rahul Gandhi but in general against all political opponents," Singhvi said.
Narrating the sequence, the Congress spokesperson said that a few days ago one Shamsher Singh, ASI of Delhi Police headquarters with ID number 28820025 and not from Tughalq Road police station (under whose jurisdiction Gandhi’s residence falls) was found "snooping, making unnecessary and weird enquiries and roaming around" in the vicinity of the residence of the Congress Vice President.
Refusing to see it as a matter only concering Delhi Police, he said that they have better things to do than to "listen to the dictates of their political masters."
Calling it a "serious national issue," Singhvi drew its parallels with incidents of alleged phone-tapping and snooping in Gujarat when Modi was Chief Minister and said "it is something against which parties irrespective of political colour should stand up."
He said no law permitted such a procedure, rejecting as "laughable" BJP’s claim that it could be some security survey by Delhi Police.
Singhvi said that Congress will raise the issue in all fora including Parliament.
Through you, we have raised it nationally. It is wider.
We will raise it in all fora," he said.
Asked about the motive behind the alleged snooping, Singhvi said that he was not here to speculate but quipped "political espionage is not done because you are shaking hands with political adversaries or have dinner with them."