BJP on Wednesday termed as a "big joke" the Intelligence Bureau's "chewing gum theory" regarding the alleged bugging of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's office and demanded a thorough probe into the matter.
"The allegation of spying at Pranab Mukherjee's office is a serious matter. The Finance Minister himself may try to dismiss it...he may be under some compulsions. But the country wants to know," Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.
"The IB's chewing gum theory is a big joke," she said. Swaraj said Mukherjee's complaint to the Prime Minister in September regarding discovery of "planted adhesives" at 16 places in North Block -- including his own office, his adviser Omita Paul's room, his private secretary Manoj Pant's office and two conference rooms -- should be taken seriously.
"As far as the allegations are concerned, two questions can be raised... whether the spying was being carried out by the government itself against its Finance Minister or some corporate house was doing it. In both the situations, it is a serious issue," the BJP leader said.
Slamming the IB, which concluded that the adhesive may just be chewing gum left behind by maintenance staff, she said, "If they give such a childish argument and expect the country to believe that those were chewing gums, people will laugh and ask from where did such an intelligent chewing gum has come... (that) sticks itself wherever it goes.
"Even Pranab must be knowing the difference between adhesive and chewing gum. I demand the government should take his letter seriously and conduct a thorough probe."