New Delhi: Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Sunday denied media reports that a "listening device" was found inside his residence.
Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari. File Pic
"Reports in a section of the media about listening devices having been found at my New Delhi residence are highly speculative," Gadkari tweeted.
A close aide of the minister too denied the report, but did not give any details.
Deputy Commissioner of Police S.B.S. Tyagi too said police have not received any complaint from Gadkari in the matter.
"We did not receive any complaint from Nitin Gadkari or anyone else till now. Reports in some sections of the media that a listening devise was found inside Gadkari's house are totally speculative," Tyagi told IANS.
"The minister himself has said the reports are speculative... How can we comment on it," Rijiju said when he was asked if the home ministry would probe the bugging reports.
"There is nothing concrete in it," the minister said.
Media reports on Sunday said bugging devices were found at Gadkari's Delhi residence.
This was however denied by Gadkari and those close to him.
Congress demanded a probe into the allegations, with former prime minister Manmohan Singh saying it is not a "good omen".
"If ministers' houses are bugged, then it is not a good omen. It should be investigated. How can it happen? It should be explained by the government in the house," the former prime minister told reporters at an Iftar get-together hosted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Gadkari issued a fresh denial over the issue, even as Congress leaders demanded an investigation.
"As already stated, I reiterate that no devices were found at my residence anywhere," Gadkari tweeted.
Asked about the bugging, union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said it was not a matter to be pursued.
"There is no contradiction, Gadkari has denied it himself," Rajnath Singh said, "How can we intervene in this?"
BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asked why Manmohan Singh was quiet when bugging was reported in then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's office.
"Why was Manmohan Singh quiet when there were reports of bugging of his ministers," Naqvi asked.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy questioned if former Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was responsible for the bugging.
He said that the bugging took place around October last year "when the UPA was in power, the NSA has specifically targeted the BJP and Gadkari was a very important person. He had the confidence of the RSS".
Congress leader Manish Tewari said: "If the BJP feels it is to be blamed on UPA, they should get it probed."