Margaret Alva, the Opposition's joint candidate for the upcoming vice presidential election, alleged that her phone SIM had stopped working after she made calls to some BJP leaders.
"'Big Brother’ is always watching," Alva said in a tweet suggestive of phone tapping on Tuesday, 26 July.
However, government-owned telecom operator MTNL responded to her, indicating that the telecom notice she had shared while stating her SIM was suspended was false.
"MTNL never ask for the e-KYC on WhatsApp/SMS/Call etc. MTNL Alert by sending messages to all GSM customers to avoid such type of EKYC SMS/WhatsApp/Calls as it may lead to some kind of fraud , hence you are requested to ignore such E-KYC messages," it said in a reply to her tweet.
Further, two Union Ministers on Tuesday rubbished the allegations made by Alva.
"Why should anybody tap her phone? Let her call anybody, we're confident about what the result of the VP election will be. Why should we do this? These are childish allegations. She's a senior person and she should not make such allegations," Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"People give such statements out of dejection," Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra said.
An FIR has been filed in the matter by BSNL, news agency ANI reported, citing sources.
What Had Happened?
"After speaking to some friends in the BJP today, all calls to my mobile are being diverted & I'm unable to make or receive calls," Alva had written on Twitter on Monday.
Alva had quipped that she would not make any more campaign calls to the BJP, TMC, or BJD, if the government-owned telecom operator MTNL whose SIM she uses restores her phone.
She also shared on Twitter a notice issued to her by MTNL, which informs her that her SIM card has been suspended and will be blocked within a day if she fails to call the operator.
"The fear that ‘Big Brother’ is always watching & listening permeates all conversations between politicians across party lines in ‘new’ India. MPs & leaders of parties carry multiple phones, frequently change numbers & talk in hushed whispers when they meet. Fear kills democracy," she said in another tweet posted on Tuesday.
As part of her campaigning ahead of the vice presidential election, Alva has been reaching out to leaders from across political parties, requesting their support.
She is contesting against the NDA vice presidential candidate, Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Alva had filed her nomination for the poll on 19 July, accompanied by several Opposition leaders including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP's Sharad Pawar, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury, and CPI's D Raja.
She is a Congress veteran and has a political career spanning over four decades during which she occupied several positions including a five-time Congress MP, a Union minister and then governor.
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