2. India opposition wants 'bugs in minister office' probed

India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded a probe into an alleged security breach in Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's office.

The Indian Express newspaper has reported that "planted adhesives" were found in Mr Mukherjee's office last year, pointing to an attempt to bug it.

The paper said investigators found the adhesive to be a "sort of chewing gum". Mr Mukherjee said investigations had "found nothing" and urged the media not to waste time on "bogus things". "In respect of news item regarding bugging in my office, the Investigation Bureau looked into it and found there is nothing in it," Mr Mukherjee said on Tuesday.

However, opposition BJP leader Sushma Swaraj described the reported bugging as "India's Watergate", and demanded to know whether the government was spying on its own minister or if a "corporate house" was doing so. "In either case, it is a matter of grave concern. It is India's Watergate and needs to be thoroughly investigated," Ms Swaraj said.

In its report on Tuesday, the Indian Express said Mr Mukherjee had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last September asking for a "secret inquiry" into what he called a "serious breach of security" in his office. The newspaper said that "planted adhesives" had been found at "16 key locations" in the office. No microphone or recording device had been found, Mr Mukherjee reportedly wrote to the prime minister. The newspaper said that the Intelligence Bureau had investigated the complaint and said that the adhesives were a "sort of chewing gum".

Some of the gum was apparently marked by lines which could have indicated they had at some point held recording devices.Mr Mukherjee, 76, is the most senior member of the Congress-led federal government and one of India's leading politicians.



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