Hasty to call Nira Radia a spy. Thus spake Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister. The phone tapping was started precisely for that reason – spying. If Pranab Mukherjee, the man in the middle of everything could say that, one can safely assume the complaint to the then Finance Minster, P. Chidambaram, on the basis of which the phone tapping commenced might as well be fabricated. Else, Chidambaram can and should reveal who the complainant was. That is neither a matter of national secrecy nor a matter of grave danger. I wonder if the complaint was signed by anyone or was an anonymous one.
In the affidavit filed with the Supreme Court the UPA government has stated: “Ms. Radia had within a short span of 9 years built up a business empire worth 300 crores, that she was an agent of foreign intelligence agencies and that she was indulging in anti-national activities”. Let’s see, Rahul Gandhi, the clown-prince, had assets worth 22 lakhs in 2004 and 2.25 crores in 2009. On his known income, isn’t that a big leap? Subrata Roy Sahara’s business group grew from Rs.1500/- ($43) in 1978 to over billions of dollars in just over two decades. Isn’t that a big leap? In comparison, Radia’s growth doesn’t seem all that spectacular considering she was the PR agent for some big business groups. As for being anti-national, Subramanian Swamy has frequently accused Sonia Gandhi of being anti-national and of having received money from the KGB. And that, is in the public domain. Where are the inquiries on Rahul, Sahara and Sonia?
It shouldn’t fool any one in the least that the spy here may not be Nira Radia at all. The spies here appear to be obviously the ministers or departments of the UPA government. I have repeatedly emphasised that P. Chidambaram has to come clean on the phone tapping and selective leaks. We have to wonder if the UPA government IS the spy. And if so, what or who all were they spying on?
On another note, it is frivolous for the Union Home Secretary or a State Home Secretary to have the authority to sanction surveillance. Such officers are usually ones that do the bidding of the political party in power or the ministers in charge. No one less than a High Court judge should authorise such surveillance. It took the CBI over a year to raid the homes/offices of A. Raja and other officials in the telecom case. Why wasn’t Nira Radia ever raided or questioned till recently? Following the complaint against her and the phone tapping, was nothing incriminating found in the first month itself? Why phone-tapping over a two year period?
It is extremely probable that the phone tapping was initiated and meant to be used by the Congress to embarrass, expose or even blackmail some businessmen, media-persons and political allies or enemies. It seems more and more likely that the government may have no real case against Nira Radia. The exposures are welcome, but the motives remain suspect. Will the media now push Chidambaram for facts?