New Delhi: Attempts had been made to access Arun Jaitley's phone records but no information had been obtained, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Friday in reference to allegations that the opposition leader's phones had been tapped.

"This was not the case of phone tapping. The Delhi Police has made some arrests. They (Delhi Police) said we came to know some person sought to know call record data of Arun Jaitley. The call data records were not disclosed," Shinde told the Rajya Sabha.

He also informed the House that four arrests had been made. His statement was, however, rejected by opposition members who said it contained no information at all.

BJP seeks PM’s clarification

They said ...

First this government was found spying on its ministers, then its allies and now the Opposition leaders.  BJP demand that Prime Minister should come out with a clarification on the issue: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

People are hiring experts for bugging phones. One does not know what is the government's role, how much government is involved. All this will be clear after the inquiry. A wrong tradition has begun: Sharad Yadav

Who is tapping these phones and who is getting them tapped. More worrisome is that the machine used for tapping these phones have been brought to the country in big numbers and it is very easy to tap the phones: Shivanand Tiwari

It is the government's responsibility and government should probe it. Efforts should be made to initiate concrete steps so that such incidents do not happen again: Mulayam Singh Yadav

BJP and JD(U) on Friday demanded that the government should come out clean on the controversy over alleged tapping of phones of prominent MPs belonging to Opposition parties, saying it was a serious matter

"This government has continuously engaged in snooping and there are several agents in this regime who are involved in spying on leaders. First this government was found spying on its ministers, then its allies and now the Opposition leaders. This is a serious matter," BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters outside Parliament House.

BJP demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should come out with a clarification on the issue. "If the government spends even 50 percent of the energy it is wasting on spying on India's security, and combating terrorism and naxalism, then the country would have benefited and the government would clean some of the taint of failure," Naqvi said. Asked if the tapping of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley's phone was being done at the behest of his detractors in BJP, Naqvi vehemently denied it.

JD(U) describes phone tapping as a ‘wrong tradition’

Describing phone tapping as a "wrong tradition", JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said, "The probe into the phone tapping is on. There are some different type of people involved in phone tapping. All things will come up after the probe. A wrong tradition has begun."

"People are hiring experts for bugging phones. One does not know what is the government's role, how much government is involved. All this will be clear after the inquiry," he said. Sharad Yadav said, "One is entitled to his or her private life which is protected in the Constitution." Asked if it has anything to do with BJP's internal fighting, the JD(U) leader said this will also be clear after the probe.

JD(U) spokesperson and MP Shivanand Tiwari said there were reports that his phone as well as those of his party colleague N K Singh and SP leader Ramgopal Yadav have been tapped. "Who is tapping these phones and who is getting them tapped. More worrisome is that the machine used for tapping these phones have been brought to the country in big numbers and it is very easy to tap the phones," he said. Tiwari demanded that a probe be ordered to find out the people behind tapping of phones. "It seems there is no government and everybody is doing as he wants," he said.

SP demands concrete steps

SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded concrete steps to prevent alleged phone tapping incidents in the future. "It is the government's responsibility and government should probe it. Efforts should be made to initiate concrete steps so that such incidents do not happen again," he said outside Parliament. Asked whether government or private agencies are involved in phone tapping, the SP chief said, "This will be clear after the probe."

Truth will come out in probe: Cong

Congress MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi said, "It is the opposition's duty to accuse government (of wrong doing) and they are doing it. When probe is going on they should have patience. Truth will come out." Taking a dig at the BJP, the Cong MP said, "The party fears that their internal squabble will come out in the open."

(JPN/Agencies)

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