New Delhi: Despite home minister Rajnath Singh denying reports that transport minister Nitin Gadkari’s residence had been bugged, the opposition Congress said it would insist on a debate and a probe into the allegations.

“There should be a discussion and it should culminate into an inquiry by a judge. There has to be a credible and impartial probe into the reports," Ghulam Nabi Azad, senior Congress leader and leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said.

Both houses were adjourned abruptly with the opposition seeking a clarification on the media reports that high-power recording equipment was found at Gadkari’s official residence.

“We want to know how many ministers, MPs and bureaucrats are being spied on," Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, raising the matter in the Lok Sabha

Home minister Singh said there was no question of an investigation.

“The reports are baseless. No such incident has taken place," Singh told the Lok Sabha.

The matter was raised in the upper house with Congress members alleging that the methods used in Gujarat to snoop on ministers and legislators were being employed at the centre, referring to former state chief minister Narendra Modi’s ascension to the Prime Minister’s post after the April-May Lok Sabha polls

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned four times—twice each during Question Hour and Zero Hour—in the pre-lunch session.

Singh said no complaint has been lodged either by the minister or anybody else on the issue.

Pointing out that some leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had initially blamed the former United Progressive Alliance government for installing the devices at the minister’ houses, Azad said the reactions showed that the incident had taken place.

“We are showing our concern. It is about the privacy, individual freedom and freedom of speech. We have some apprehensions and we have to get them clarified," Azad said.

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, however, attacked Congress for raking up the matter, terming it as a “non-issue". “Here is a case where home minister Rajnath Singh has categorically said that the bugging issue is baseless. I think there is no element of truth in it. Gadkari has denied and no one has complained. Yet the Congress is crying foul about it. Why?" he said outside Parliament House.

The BJP leader said Congress should not attempt to make an issue out of a “non-issue". “We all know that the Congress has been decisively defeated in this election. We all can understand their desperation. We also know that they are bereft of any issue, but that does not mean that non-issues are made into an issue," he said.

PTI contributed to this story.

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