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Opp demands probe into �bugging� issue

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, June 22 � Questions continued to be raised today over the alleged bugging attempts in the offices of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his aides in the North Block with Opposition parties rejecting the �chewing gum� theory and demanding a thorough probe, reports PTI

They sought to suggest that the episode could also be reflective of the �trust deficit� within the government.

But the Congress hit back saying the BJP always indulged in levelling �baseless allegations� to divert attention from its internal rebellion. It said it was not aware of any problems within the government on the issue.

The man at the centre of all this, Mukherjee himself, however, has sought to downplay calling the episode �bogus� but did not elaborate.

Officially, the government continued to maintain silence on the issue.

A day after a row broke out after a national newspaper reported on the alleged bugging, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj termed as a �big joke� the Intelligence Bureau�s �chewing gum theory� and demanded a probe into it.

�The allegation of spying at Pranab Mukherjee�s office is a serious matter. The Finance Minister himself may try to dismiss it...He may be under some compulsions. But the country wants to know,� she said.

Swaraj, who described the episode as India�s �Watergate�, said Mukherjee�s complaint to the Prime Minister in September regarding discovery of �planted adhesives� at 16 places in North Block �including his own office, his adviser Omita Paul�s room, his private secretary Manoj Pant�s office and two conference rooms � should be taken seriously.

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