Congress condemns police queries about Rahul Gandhi
The Congress party on Saturday condemned Delhi Police's "unnecessary and weird enquiries" about party vice president Rahul Gandhi and termed it "political espionage". Police denied "snooping" charges and said it was a routine enquiry.
"This kind of political espionage, snooping, surveillance and intrusion in political opponent's life may be Gujarat model but not Indian model," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, referring to the oft-quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Gujarat model of development.
According to reports, the police visited the Congress office last week and asked about Gandhi's physical appearance - his height, colour of eyes and hair.
At a press conference, Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi defended police queries and said it was normal and there was no malafide motive behind it.
Bassi said: "Prevention and detection of crime, maintenance of law and order and security of vulnerable citizens is our duty."
He said other MPs and VIPs were also checked, and that police have visited former union minister Veerappa Moily and BJP leader L.K. Advani's house as well.
Earlier, Congress too held a press conference and demanded an explanation from the home minister or the prime minister.
"We demand a comprehensive explanation by no less than home minister or prime minister, its not a Congress centric issue, it affects all political parties."
Singhvi said: "A few days ago, an ASI from Delhi Police headquarter was found snooping, making unnecessary and weird remarks at Rahul Gandhi residence. When stopped by SPG, it was found he was trying to fill up a form with weird questions about Rahul Gandhi's height, colour of eyes, hair."
Targeting the central government, Singhvi said: "India is a proud democracy, not a police state. We are a vibrant democracy. This kind of political espionage is condemnable."
"We will be taking up this issue in parliament," he added.
However, denying any snooping or conducting an enquiry on the central government's directions, Bassi said such surveys are conducted at all protected persons' offices from time to time and added that no personal questions were asked.
"... There was no snooping motive by the police official. There was no direction from the central government, Delhi Police never had any political pressure from Centre," the police chief added.
He further said: "It is important for us to update information about people who are more vulnerable than common man. We keep info about (BJP president) Amit Shah, the prime minister, (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi as well."
The BJP also reacted on the issue saying Congress is "politicising security check". - IANS