Did not give permission for phone tapping, Rajasthan govt tells MHA

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New Delhi, July 22: The Rajasthan chief secretary has denied any sanction of phone-tapping in its report to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The issue of 'phone-tapping' of political leaders in Rajasthan blew up into a major controversy with the BJP demanding a CBI probe into it and the Congress alleging that the demand amounted to its 'admission of guilt' after the audiotapes of a purported telephonic conversation between a dissident Congress MLA and a Union minister surfaced.

The controversy erupted a day after the Congress suspended two dissident MLAs --Bhanwar Lal Sharma and Vishvendra Singh-- from party's primary membership for allegedly plotting with the BJP to topple the Rajasthan government after the audio clip of the purported conversation between Sharma and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat came out. Shekhawat has rejected these allegations and said he is willing to be investigated.

Home Ministry seeks report from Rajasthan on allegations of phone tapping

Launching a counter-offensive against the Congress over the audio tape row, the BJP asked whether the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan resorted to 'unconstitutional' means to tap phones of politicians, and demanded a CBI probe into what it called a 'saga of illegalities and concocted lies'.

The Congress hit back alleging that this made it clear that the saffron party was behind the rebellion by Sachin Pilot and others, and also its involvement in the alleged 'horse trading' of MLAs in Rajasthan.

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said everyone witnessed over the last week, the daylight 'murder of democracy' being attempted by the BJP in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Singh Dotasra if the BJP was not involved in it (toppling the government) why a Rajasthan Police team probing the audio tapes were not allowed to enter the hotel in the BJP-ruled Haryana till the rebel MLAs were moved elsewhere.

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