Were phones of Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray tapped? Maharashtra to probe
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said that a senior BJP leader had sounded him about his phone getting tapped.
Maharashtra will constitute a two-member committee to investigate allegations of phone tapping of politicians under the erstwhile Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Devendra Fadnavis.
The state’s home minister Anil Deshmukh had alleged in January that the phones of the leaders, including the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Sena leader Sanjay Raut, were tapped by the previous Fadnavis government in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections and state assembly polls last year.
Fadnavis, who was in charge of the home department during the five years of the BJP’s rule, said no such orders were given to the police or any government machinery.
“We have decided to form a panel of two officers to probe the matter. We have given them six weeks to complete it,” Anil Deshmukh said on Monday.
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Additional chief secretary Shrikant Singh and joint commissioner (intelligence) Amitesh Kumar have been appointed to probe the matter.
“We have received a letter from the home minister to appoint a committee to investigate the allegations of phone tapping this morning. It will now be sent to the chief minister (Uddhav Thackeray) for approval,” additional chief secretary, (home), Sanjay Kumar, said.
Anil Deshmukh, who is an NCP leader, had created a flutter by his comments that the previous BJP-Shiv Sena government in the state misused the government machinery to tap phones of Congress and NCP leaders.
“When the BJP government was in power in Maharashtra, before the general and legislative assembly elections, they tapped phones of NCP and Congress leaders to keep a tab on their activities,” Deshmukh had said.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had also said that a senior BJP leader had sounded him about his phone getting tapped.
Devendra Fadnavis had rejected the conspiracy theory and said those levelling the charge had little political credibility. He also said that the Shiv Sena was part of the state home ministry in his government.
Sena’s Deepak Kesarkar was the minister of state for home (rural), finance and planning between December 2014 and July 2016.
The row was sparked after senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, in a series of tweets, alleged that a few senior government officials from the previous Maharashtra government were involved in tapping and snooping.