Phone Tapping Sparks Argument in Indian Parliament

Phone Tapping Sparks Argument in Indian ParliamentControversy over allegations that Government agencies furtively tapped telephone conversations of senior politicians is liable to immobilize India's Parliament on Monday, probably implying postponement for the budget and other important bills.

The pressure arrives just as the Government is looking to secure its allies' support for a likely vote in Parliament over high food prices. The Government would collapse if it doesn’t win the vote.

The argument is the latest waft for an alliance, which was anticipated to benefit from its re-election to endorse policies to increase investment and weak infrastructure in addition to reform welfare and subsidies.

Instead, a swing of crises has sidetracked it, delaying even everyday parliamentary business such as passing the budget and debate on critical reforms legislation.

The phone tapping accusation has combined the opposition, which said that it will claim a statement from the Government on Monday.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Spokesman of the main opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party said, "In the garb of tracking terror, the Government is tracking politicians and even their cabinet ministers".

According to a magazine report last week, senior politicians, comprising two from the Government, had their mobile talks eavesdropped, igniting accusations that intelligence agencies were being employed to spy upon political opponents.

The Government has to still formally respond to the charge, but officers in the Prime Minister's office said that the issue was being investigated.

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