BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s main opposition, has demanded a probe into an alleged security breach in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s office.
The Indian Express, a leading English daily, reported yesterday that “planted adhesives” were found in Mukherjee’s office last year, pointing to an attempt to bug it.
The newspaper said investigators had found the adhesives to be some “sort of chewing gum.”
Mukherjee also said that investigations had “found nothing.”
But the BJP said the news report was “shocking” and demanded a “thorough investigation.”
“Is it that the government was spying on its own finance minister? Or is it a corporate house? In either case, it is a matter of grave concern. It is India’s Watergate and needs to be thoroughly investigated,” Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said.
The daily reported that Mukherjee had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last September asking for a “secret inquiry” into what he called a “serious breach of security” in his office.
The newspaper said that “planted adhesives” had been found at “16 key locations” in the office.
No microphone or recording device had been found, Mukherjee reportedly wrote to the prime minister.
The paper said that the Intelligence Bureau had investigated the complaint and said that the adhesives were “a sort of chewing gum.”
Mukherjee, 76, is the most senior member of the Congress-led federal government and one of India’s leading politicians.