New Delhi: After Congress criticised Narendra Modi government for political espionage on Rahul Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra said that this is a technical issue and not political one. Clarifying BJP's stand Patra said that the police provided outer cover even to SPG protectees and Congress did not have any issue left to raise.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters that a Delhi Police Assistant Sub Inspector identified by him as Shamsher Singh had enquired about the colours of Rahul's hair, eyes, age, height, the shoes he uses and his father's name and the places he visits.
Singhvi said the Delhi policeman ASI was "found snooping" and making "unnecessary and weird" enquiries.
The policeman was stopped and accosted by the staff of Special Protection Group, who guard Rahul, at the residence of the Congress Vice President, Singhvi said.
The incident gave ammo to Singhvi to launch a sharp attack on the government saying it is a case of "political espionage and snooping" on rivals.
In a veiled reference to the snooping of a young woman in Gujarat during the tenure of Narendra Modi as chief minister, Singhvi, without naming Modi, said "espionage and surveillance" of political rivals may be a Gujarat model but not Indian model.
"The track record shows this kind of espionage was perfected in Gujarat for political opponents," he said.
Senior Congress leader P C Chacko termed it as a "breach of privacy and highly unacceptable."
"It is intruding into the privacy of the citizen by Delhi Police without any valid purpose and is highly unacceptable," he said.
"Who has done this and under whose instructions, we would like to know. If it is true, then senior officials should explain who authorized them to come. Rahul Gandhiji is an MP, all the details are available on Parliament's website and
there is nothing which is secret about him," he said.
"Every individual has the right to his privacy. They have now started intruding into the private lives of the citizens also. This is highly objectionable," he added.
On the other hand Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said, "Our police officers did not have any malafied intention and this was just a routine activity. It is routine for beat officers to go to even 7 RCR, PM's residence. A day before the beat officer had also gone to other VIPs, including LK Advani."
Bassi agreed in the press meet that the performa needed to be changed as it had become outdated. "We will make a new performa. Delhi police never worked under any political pressure."
"If a complaint comes from Congress party we will give a formal reply," he further added.