The UPA this week faced a strange problem - bugs.
Not the hundred legged creepy-crawly kind but the man-made creepy kind. The story broken earlier this week was that some adhesive was discovered in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's office. This was alleged to be a sign that the office was 'bugged' with microphones or cameras to spy on Mukherjee. It was also alleged to be a sign that one of the government a.k.a Home Minister Chidambaram (who presumably has the resources) didn't trust Pranab Mukherjee for some reason and just wanted to find out what he does/says in that office of his.
Naturally the opposition decided to go over Mount Everest with insinuations flying fast that this was the 'Watergate' of India and that the government is full of spies and completely lacking trust and that the UPA is headed towards civil war.
That is the view of the BJP and other opposition parties anyway. The UPA is maintaining a stoic (if ludicrous) position that there were no bugs, but the matter will be investigated anyway. Official and unofficial spokespersons in the government have also tried to pass the entire thing off as a misunderstanding involving 'chewing gum'.
But even if we reduce the volume of interest in the story from 'complete hysteria' to 'rationale thought' what becomes plain is that the case must be investigated further - the 'bugging' of a union minister, the Finance Minister at that, poses serious questions about the running of our government.
But until/unless that investigation reveals a bombshell, it is would be prudent to hold our imaginations. In either case the UPA needs a better pest control system - for corruption, inefficiency and ‘bugs’.
Chewing gum: The foreign hand
Chewing the bubblegum
Digvijay Singh demands probe into bugging
Govt says bugging issue bogus, matter should be closed
Text: Sify News Desk/PTI/IANS
Image: Sify Movies/ PTI/AP/Reuters