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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Phone-tapping story - the watch continues!

The phone-tapping story is gaining some momentum now, what with Amar Singh trying to rally other political parties behind him, while Mulayam Singh pushes for an independent probe (The Hindu report).

The Samajwadi Party on Wednesday sought to mobilise political support for its case against the Congress and the Centre in the phone-tapping issue, with its leader Amar Singh calling on Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat here.

Soon after the meeting, Mr. Karat told the media that the issue was "serious'' and demanded an investigation.

He told The Hindu that the party had always opposed tapping of telephone lines of political leaders. This development raised the larger question of "assault on civil liberties.'' The CPI (M) had also cautioned the government against opening up the telecommunications sector to private companies or to foreign capital.

Mr. Amar Singh plans to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu.

It's not unexpected that Karat uses this issue to rail against privatisation and liberalisation of the telecom sector (never mind that his wife Brinda's sister Radhika and brother-in-law Prannoy run one of the premier privately-run television networks in the country - NDTV!). "Whatever problem arises, blame it on privatisation/liberalisation" seems to be the motto by which the Left dinosaurs still run their parties. Again, never mind the fact that in those glory days when the Govt. of India was the only one running telephone exchanges, it used to tap the ruling party's (read: Congress') adversaries' phones left, right and center!

Sandeep also comments on the Left's behaviour in this post.

Meanwhile, our PM-ji weighs in with his usual profundity that doesn't bother with responding to questions asked:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said tapping of telephones was a ``serious matter'' and it should be ``given a thought.''

``There are no two opinions that there should be no tapping of telephones,'' he said when asked to respond to the demand of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh that a special task force be constituted to look into tapping of phones.


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