New Delhi, May 4: BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has labelled as an “act of despair” the UPA government’s decision to appoint a sitting judge to probe the so-called snoopgate controversy.

“It is an act of despair by a government which is becoming increasingly certain about its defeat. It is one of those last ditch efforts made by a government which seems increasingly inept at handling its defeat gracefully,” Modi told IANS in an e-mail interview.

The snoopgate controversy broke out in November when two investigating portals reported the alleged tapping of the telephones of a woman architect by Gujarat Police. It was alleged that then state home minister Amit Shah, a close aide of Modi, was involved in tailing the woman on the alleged orders of the Gujarat chief minister.

Reminding the Congress of the saying “one must be humble in victory and gracious in defeat”, Modi said: “Several top leaders in this present (UPA) government did not even choose to contest the elections out of fear of losing.

“The few who have contested are staring at certain defeat. In such a scenario it is highly unbecoming of a lame-duck government to resort to abuse of state power for political ends,” he said in obvious anger.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde announced Friday that the government would appoint a judge before May 16, the day votes polled in the Lok Sabha election are counted, to head the judicial commission set up to investigate the issue.