BJP demands CBI probe against Rajasthan government’s phone tapping episode
On Monday, Bhartiya Janta Party accused the Congress government in Rajasthan of suppressing dissent by tapping the phones of the party’s own rebellious MLAs, who opposed the party’s leadership last year. BJP demanded CBI probe into the unlawful phone tapping episode by the desert state. The question regarding the tapping of phones was first raised by BJP MLA Kalicharan in the state Assembly last year.
Referring to the August 14, 2020 incident, when the Gehlot government faced a floor test post the exit of Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs, Kalicharan asked, “Is it true that phone tapping cases have come up in the last days? If yes, under which law and by whose orders?”
In its reply, the state Home Department accepted that telephones were tapped in the interest of public safety and order. “The telephones are intercepted under the provision of Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and Section 419 (A) of the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, 2007, and Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 – after approval by a competent officer,” as per the official reply. The department’s statement added, “Interception cases are reviewed by the chief secretary. All cases up to the month of November 2020 have been reviewed.”
Though the state government did not confirm if it intercepted the phones of Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhwat and supporters of former deputy CM Sachin Pilot, who revolted against Gehlot’s government. Yet, putting two and two together, BJP has linked the two instances and demanded thorough investigation.
Besides demanding CBI probe into the matter, BJP also raised the call for the resignation of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot on the grounds of misuse of power. Shekhawat tweeted, “This is what the BJP had said in July last year – “Emergency is going on in Rajasthan”. The Gehlot government denied it at the time and is now accepting that the phones were tapped. This is a violation of privacy, the murder of democracy.”
भाजपा ने पिछले साल जुलाई में यही कहा था – “राजस्थान में आपातकाल चल रहा है”। गहलोत सरकार ने उस समय इनकार किया था, और अब स्वीकार कर रही है कि फोन टेप किए गए। यह निजता का हनन है, लोकतंत्र की हत्या है!#RajasthanCrisis— Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (@gssjodhpur) March 15, 2021
Labeling it as an illegal act, Shekhawat said, “There is a question from the public that why was phone tapping done using government machinery to contain the internal rebellion of the Congress Party? Why did the Congress government use the administration in its own interest? This is an illegal process.” He added, “Insult at peak has been the tradition of the Congress. How can the Rajasthanis trust a government that does not trust its MLAs.”
जनता की ओर से भी एक प्रश्न है – कांग्रेस पार्टी की अंदरुनी बगावत रोकने के लिए सरकारी मशीनरी का इस्तेमाल कर फोन टेपिंग क्यों की गई? कांग्रेस सरकार ने प्रशासन का उपयोग अपने हित में क्यों किया?— Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (@gssjodhpur) March 15, 2021
ये “अवैध” प्रक्रिया है! लोकतंत्र की हत्या है!#RajasthanCrisis
The phone tapping incident took place last year when the telephonic conversation between Union minister Gajendra Singh and Congress dissenting MLAs surfaced. Congress accused BJP of attempting to topple Gehlot’s government in Rajasthan by putting a bargaining chip across the rebel leaders.