Who Put Listening Devices In Pranab Mukherjee’s Office?

Pranab Mukherjee, when he was finance minister, found that his office was bugged. He was so perturbed that he bypassed home minister P Chidambaram and asked the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a secret investigation.

Manmohan Singh, as he often does, just routed the matter to Chidambaram’s ministry. Predictably, he assigned the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to investigate the matter. The IB found nothing and said everything was okay. (Interestingly, the listening devices were found by former officials of the IB.)

This seems to have upset Pranab Mukherjee. He then made a statement that indicated that Chidambaram had a role in the 2G scam as well.

Around this time, there were reports that an advisor to Pranab Mukherjee by the name Omita Paul had become so powerful in the ministry that she was deciding appointments and generally interfering with work of agencies under the Finance ministry. It was in this context that allegations were made against Omita Paul was behind the denial of extensions to several SEBI officials.

Around the time that Pranab Mukherjee was going to be made President, there were numerous reports in the press that foreign investors were unhappy with him (retrospective taxation and anti-avoidance rules). It was also reported that Manmohan Singh was also extremely uncomfortable with him. Even the Wikileaks tapes mention that Pranab Mukherjee was hiding ambitions of taking away Singh’s PM post. Finally, when Mukherjee was nominated as President, Manmohan Singh was caught on camera loudly

So, one wonders what the listening devices caught. Was it just audio or video? In this respect, one must note that the intelligence agencies do both. There are pin hole cameras that you can hide anywhere. Their transmissions can be put on hold remotely so that electronic sweeps do not identify them.

There is an intelligence agency named NTRO. It was recently in the news for putting cameras in the bathrooms used by its own staff. I am sure they are watching our netas, everyone from Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi to Karunanidhi and Kanimozhi like this. I also believe that these video feeds are hooked up to NSA and GHCQ headquarters so that the coverage is put to maximum use. After all, they have given this snooping equipment free to our intelligence agencies and police departments. They expect something in return.


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