The ruling BJP has denied it. "Over the last year, it was widely believed the BJP would come to power. So one might not be surprised if there was an interest in information gathering...but in terms of putting listening devices and eavesdropping systematically, that isn't right," party spokesperson Nalin Kohli told NDTV, also citing Mr Gadkari's emphatic denial. (Gadkari Says Bugging Reports Highly Speculative)
A report in The Sunday Guardian - founded by senior journalist MJ Akbar who joined the BJP earlier this year - said "high power listening devices" were found in Mr Gadkari's bedroom at his 13 Teen Murti Lane residence in Delhi recently. (Read Full Report)
The report referenced the diplomatic row between India and the US this month after documents leaked by former security contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency or NSA was authorised to spy on the BJP in 2010. (Snooping Row: 'Unacceptable', Says India As It Summons Top US Diplomats)
Mr Kohli said, "If there is need, we will take it up with the US."
Trying to rein in a spiraling controversy, Rajnath Singh on Monday ruled out any investigation, saying, "There is no contradiction. Mr Gadkari himself has denied it."
But the Congress is insisting on an investigation. One leader even alluded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged snooping scandals in Gujarat, the state he ruled for 13 years till he took charge at the Centre. "I come from Gujarat and it is commonplace to snoop there. It looks like the sutradhar(common link) has come to Delhi," said Shaktisinh Gohil, a Congress spokesperson. (House Not Bugged, Says Gadkari; Congress Leader Takes a Dig At PM Modi)
He stopped short of accusing Mr Modi, saying, "Let the Prime Minister explain this. Earlier when Manmohan Singh was PM, he would often question his silence. Why is he silent now?"
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections. Election results will be out on May 23.