Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari once again rubbished as "false and baseless" the reports that bugging devices had been found in his residence.
Gadkari said, "It is totally false and baseless. First they talked about the Delhi residence, now they are talking about Mumbai residence. I have told you all this is baseless."
Gadkari also dismissed statements that the bugging had been going on since the UPA government was in power.
BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy also defended Gadkari by saying that Gadkari had made his stance on the issue very clear.
"It is very well clarified by Mr. Gadkari that nothing like has happened. The Home Minister has given a statement in the Rajya Sabha that it's a non-issue and there is nothing like this. Inspite of this, Congress people are trying to create furore in the House on an issue which is a non-issue," Rudy told ANI.
Meanwhile, opposition leaders like Mayawati said, "Although Gadkari is not saying anything but this is a very serious issue. This should be discussed and also investigated. Today, they have snooped on Gadkari, tomorrow it could be anyone else. Nitin Gadkari is not a criminal or a terrorist."
Communist Party of India leader D Raja also said, "The denial issued by Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh does not convince anybody at all. There is a need for a probe. The country should know who is doing this snooping? Whether they are external agencies or political rivals? Is it not a total breach of privacy? It is a very serious matter. This should be discussed meaningfully in the parliament."
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had both evaded questions earlier today about reports of bugging devices found in Gadkari's Teen Murti Lane home.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, too, had refused to comment on the bugging row.
Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India, however, had said, "We can't act or comment on something which is very speculative in nature. There is nothing to say about this."
Reportedly, listening devices were recovered from Gadkari's residence over which former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also raised a concern and had called for an investigation.