Phone tapping is an assault on personal freedom and bringing down a democratically-elected government using money amounts to "treachery", the Shiv Sena said on Monday referring to the Rajasthan political crisis.
It needs to be decided which one of this is a bigger crime, an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana said, claiming the Rajasthan telephone tapping episode has exposed many.
It said a lot of revelation will come to the fore in case someone hears secretly the conversations among Congress leaders and those (conversations) reach party leader Rahul Gandhis ears, and claimed some people are hell-bent to not let the Wayanad MP work properly.
This, in effect, hurts the entire opposition, the Shiv Sena said. The party's comments came in the wake of the Centre seeking a report from Rajasthan chief secretary on allegations of phone tapping after two audio clips of conversations purportedly regarding a conspiracy to topple the states Congress government emerged.
The FIR registered by Rajasthan Polices Anti-Corruption Bureau mentions details of conversations of (Congress rebel MLA) Bhanwarlal Sharma with Gajendra Singh (Congress claims it is a reference to Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat) and a third man called Sanjay Jain.
The BJP on Saturday asked if the Congress government in the state resorted to unconstitutional methods to tap the phones of politicians, and demanded a CBI probe into what it called a saga of illegalities and concocted lies.
Rajasthan plunged into a political crisis after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's deputy Sachin Pilot rebelled. The Congress later removed Pilot as the deputy chief minister and also as the partys state unit head.
"Phone tapping is an offence and assault on personal freedom. It is treachery to bring down a democratically-elected government using money. Hence, it needs to be decided which one is a bigger crime," the Shiv Sena said.
"The deal which was on between the BJP and Sachin Pilot was to the extreme of exchanging money. That means it was decided that the Rajasthan government would be brought down by offering money and purchasing majority engaging in horse trading," it alleged.
"Chief Minister Gehlot exposed that Sachin Pilots rebellion against injustice was a lie (not genuine) and for that, brought to light the phone conversation between Pilot and BJP leaders. It is shocking and equally sensational," it further said.
"The central power's pressure and money was used to bring down the Gehlot government," the Shiv Sena charged, adding that the Congress foiled it.
It further said phone tapping is an assault on one's personal freedom and the Centre ordering a probe into the episode was right.