Home minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said he was not aware of the Intelligence Bureau’s probe into Pranab Mukherjee’s complaint about “bugging” of his office and denied any rivalry with the finance minister.
“Well I didn’t know about it until it hit the newspapers or the media,” Chidambaram told a TV channel on the probe.
“Apparently, last September or October, the IB was asked to look into this complaint or suspicion that the finance minister’s office has been bugged. It… did a complete investigation and sent the substance to a forensic science lab. They got a report that it was an adhesive kind of substance and there was no evidence of any bugs… and those reports I saw three days ago.”
IB didn’t brief me in bugging case: Chidambaram
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to write directly to the PM seeking an investigation into his apprehension and without keeping home minister P Chidambaram in loop was seen by many as confirming the speculation about an intense interministerial rivalry.
However, in his interview to a news TV channel, Chidambaram saw nothing amiss about the fact that he was not briefed on either of the investigations by the IB-an agency directly reporting to him-into the sensitive matter of the findings.
He said he was not briefed of the conclusions of the IB because it was “dismissed as a non-event” , while steering clear of the intriguing issue of why he was not kept informed about the IB probe. “Well, if there was anything it would’ve been brought to my notice. Apparently , the report was given to the finance minister and the PM and then they concluded it was a non-event ,” he said.
The home minister dismissed the suggestion that he was at odds with Mukherjee. Asked about the charge of civil war in the government that BJP has levelled pointing to the bugging controversy, Chidambaram said, “I think they have hyper active minds and hyper active imaginations. I think they live under the shadow of daily war between the two leaders of the opposition in their own party and, therefore, they look for ghosts where none exists .
The finance minister and I are separated by at least 10 years of age, he is wiser more senior. He chairs a number of GoMs and I am a member of practically everyone of them. We speak to each other everyday and consult each other almost on a continual basis and I think only feverish imaginations can look for ghosts where none exists.” Economic Times