New Delhi, July 30: The Rajya Sabha was disrupted Wednesday as opposition leaders demanded a debate on the reported bugging at union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s Delhi residence. As soon as the house met for the day, members from the Congress were on their feet demanding suspension of question hour to take up a debate on the issue. Home Minister Rajnath Singh offered a clarification and said there is “no truth” in the reports.
“I want to clarify that there is no truth in the media reports (about bugging at Nitin Gadkari‘s house),” Rajnath Singh told the Rajya Sabha. “Even the minister, at whose residence it was said that high power listening devices were installed, has himself called the reports as completely baseless…and there have been no complaints by the minister or anyone else in this regard,” he added. The opposition, dissatisfied with the minister’s reply, kept pressing for adjourning the question hour.
In the ruckus, the house was first adjourned for 15 minutes, and then till noon. Media reports Sunday said bugging devices were found at Gadkari’s Delhi residence. This was, however, denied by Gadkari. When the house reassembled, the issue was raised again by Congress leader Anand Sharma.
“Government is tapping phones on a massive scale. Who authorized this? We want a thorough probe,” Sharma said. While Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien insisted that the zero hour should be taken up, opposition members kept pressing for their demand. Kurien then adjourned the house for 10 minutes. When the house reassembled, Kurien urged the protesting members to submit a notice for the debate, as their notice pertained only to the suspension of question hour.
Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi accused the government of running away from a debate. Responding to it, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “The minister concerned has denied the report… we are not running away from any discussion.” As the din continued, the chair adjourned the house till 2 p.m.