Amidst the phone-tapping row involving Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Thursday said she felt that her telephones were also being tapped by the Union government.
"I have so far refrained from making this public because I knew that there would be a flat denial," she said in a statement after SP leader Amar Singh called on her at the state secretariat in Chennai.
Now that Amar Singh had furnished "solid proof" that the Union government had "organised" the tapping of the telephone of an "opposition political leader," there should be an immediate "impartial inquiry" into the matter and a detailed investigation to uncover the "conspiracy" behind this, she said.
Terming the alleged tapping "shocking and outrageous," Jayalalithaa said it was "shocking" to see the level to which the central government "can sink in trying to settle scores with its political opponents."
"This is a most disgraceful and serious issue which clearly violates the basic guarantee of Freedom of Speech and Right to Life enshrined in the Constitution of India," the chief minister said.
"Political adversaries should be faced politically, that is, in electoral battles and not through this kind of 'surreptitious and underhand surveillance."
"It also raises the question that if this can happen to Amar Singh, it can happen to every opposition political leader in the country. Does it mean that all those who do not agree with the policies of the central government have to be treated as enemies and hounded," she asked.
The evidence (in Amar Singh's case) was "clinching and unassailable. Such matters were taking place with impunity in
our country after the United progressive Alliance government assumed office. It is time to put a stop to such practices which have no place in a democracy," she said.