Amaravati, Feb 2 (IANS): Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president N. Chandrababu Naidu has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order an enquiry into the alleged tapping of phones of leaders of opposition parties, lawyers, journalists and activists by the YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh.
The former Andhra Pradesh chief minister appealed to the Prime Minister to order an enquiry by a competent body of the Central government to check phone tapping.
He alleged that the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government was violating fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
"Ever since the YSRCP came to power, there has been a systematic and concerted attack on the democratic institutions in the state. Initially, the process of governance was completely derailed by attacking the investors and policies of previous regimes. This was followed by attacks on institutions like the State Election Commission and the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC). Concomitantly, the ruling YSRCP has been attacking and threatening leaders of opposition parties, advocates, media persons, and social activists, among others, through various deceitful means. One such modus operandi that the ruling party has chosen is by illegally and unlawfully tapping the phones," reads the letter.
"It appears that the YSRCP-led government has been tapping phones illegally for its own political gains. Further, we are afraid it is being done through illegal software and unlawfully. This is all the more dangerous as in the long run it could pose a direct threat to national security. With such sophisticated technology in the hands of miscreants will not only violate the right to privacy of individuals, but also would lead to compromise of people in high places by bringing them under blackmail threats," Naidu wrote.
The TDP chief alleged that apparently the YSRCP has now even targeted the judiciary, the third pillar of democracy, as it is facing hurdles from the judiciary.
"It appears that private persons are also illegally tapping phones using cutting edge technology and tools. We are afraid that if such illegal phone tapping goes unchecked, it would pose a serious threat to the integrity and security of the nation. Such illegal and unlawful practices by governments or private persons, if unrestrained, would lead to destruction of institutions that were built painstakingly over a period of time. In the long run, such nefarious activities would result in the breakdown of democratic values and freedom of speech, leading to jungle raj. In this backdrop, we appeal to you to initiate immediate and stern action in order to check any further unlawful activities (phone tapping) by the ruling party and private persons in Andhra Pradesh," he added.
Naidu had written to the Prime Minister on the backdrop of allegations by two MLAs of YSRCP that their phones were being tapped.