Prime News, National (Kolkata), April 17:- Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha has asked for an immediate, high-level and independent enquiry into the ‘audio clip’ released by the BJP IT cell claiming it contained a phone conversation between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a party candidate.
Sinha, who recently joined the Trinamool Congress, said in an exclusive interview that the union government has “very strict rules” on the authorisation of wiretapping and eavesdropping on telephone conversations.
“There is a clear list of categories whose phones can be tapped for reasons of national security — terrorists, smugglers, suspected foreign espionage agents and the like,” said Sinha. “I can say with the authority of experience that phones of Chief Ministers cannot be tapped.”
He insisted that tapping phones of Opposition leaders without authorisation should not only merit stringent legal action but was tantamount to a denial of privacy and political rights in what is still a democracy.
The audio clip has a female voice which claims to be Mamata Banerjee and the male voice on the other side is claimed to be that of TMC’s Sitalkuchi MLA candidate Partha Pratim Roy.
It claims that Mamata Banerjee is asking Partha Pratim Roy about those killed in the Sitalkuchi firings during the fourth round of West Bengal assembly polls. “Keep the dead bodies so that the party could hold a rally with the dead,” the female voice is heard saying.
Sinha said only national security agencies have the wherewithal to wire-tap phones and eavesdrop on a telephone conversation.
“We need an enquiry where these agency heads must be summoned to depose about whether they have been tapping a sitting chief minister’s phone and if so, who has authorised the tapping,” Sinha said.
If it is found they did not do it and the audio clip is fake, the BJP has a huge explanation to make, said Sinha. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).