New Delhi: The issue of the alleged tapping of the phone of Rajya Sabha leader of opposition Arun Jaitley created a ruckus in the upper house Wednesday morning.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Hamid Ansari was forced to adjourn the house briefly.
As soon as the house met for the day, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal stood up and raised the issue.
"It is a matter of concern that the leader of opposition's phone is being tapped, we need an answer from the home minister," Agarwal said.
He was joined by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Janata Dal (United) and AIADMK.
Ravishankar Prasad of BJP, Satish Chandra Misra of BSP, AIADMK's V. Maitreyan, and Shivanand Tiwari of JD(U) were among those who stood up demanding a clarification from the government on the issue.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla then assured them that the home minister would inform the house on the issue. The agitated members, however, were not pacified by this and sought a timeframe for the government's response.
Members sought to know if the government was involved in the phone tapping, to which Shukla responded: "The government does not do such things."
This led to uproar from the opposition benches which forced the chairman to order a brief adjournment.
When the house reassembled after the five-minute adjournment, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said he would collect information on the matter and place it before the house soon.
"Government is bound to make a statement on this," Shinde said.
With that, the proceedings of the house continued smoothly and Question Hour was taken up.
The Delhi Police has arrested Anurag Singh, a doctor-turned-private detective, who runs V-Detect Private Detective Agency in New Delhi. He is believed to be the brain behind the move to acquire Jaitley's phone call details.
Anurag Singh is also one of the main accused in the tapping of the phone of former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.