Congress seeks SC probe into Modi govt’s role in snooping row

ModiTwo investigative portals had revealed that Amit Shah, Narendra Modi's close aide, had ordered illegal surveillance of a woman at the behest of one "saheb".

"Singhal has told the CBI that the surveillance was illegal and was carried out only on the oral instructions of Shah. The recordings reveal that Madhuri was tailed even as she visited shopping malls, restaurants, ice-cream parlours, gyms, cinema halls, hotels and airports," said a statement issued by the two news portals.

"BJP president Rajnath Singh has said that the woman's father had requested Modi to take care of her. It is clear from this statement that the so- called saheb was Modi and that it was entirely done at his behest," said Vyas.

Natarajan said the woman's father, who lives in Gujarat, "was probably intimidated" into issuing a statement saying he had requested the state government to place his daughter under surveillance. "Does an oral, undated request by a parent condone the crime of illegal surveillance of an adult citizen of India?" asked the Congress.

The party leaders claimed they had been receiving calls from women "from across the country" expressing worry and horror about this invasion of privacy.

"When BJP leader Arun Jaitley's call details were leaked, the BJP did not allow parliament to function for three days, criminal charges were filed and arrests were made. But now the BJP is silent on the infringement on a woman's privacy," said Natarajan.

Meanwhile, the BJP accused the Congress of bringing a private matter into the public domain for political gain. "Neither the woman nor her family has said anything about any probe. The Congress does not have any locus standi to demand a probe. The surveillance was done legally with due approval," said BJP spokeswoman Meenakshi Lekhi. "This is an attempt at character assassination."

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