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Probe on into phone tapping of politicians in Maharashtra

PTI

Mumbai

Accusing the previous BJP-led government in Maharashtra of tapping phones of senior NCP and Congress leaders during the 2019 Lok Sabha and assembly polls, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Friday said he has ordered a probe into the matter.

He said there are also allegations that the then government had sent some officials to Israel and brought software to “intercept” phones of leaders of the Congress and the NCP, which were then in Opposition.

“The previous BJP-led government had tapped phones of senior NCP and Congress leaders through government mechanism ahead of the Lok Sabha and assembly polls held last year,” Deshmukh alleged.

Deshmukh did not name the NCP and Congress leaders whose phones the Devendra Fadnavis-led government had allegedly tapped.

“They had stooped low in politics. We have initiated probe into it,” the NCP minister said.

Speaking with the media in Bhandara district in Vidarbha, Deshmukh said, “The BJP government, before the polls, tried to gather information about what and with whom these (NCP-Congress) leaders were talking to.”

Earlier, Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, an NCP leader, said the phone tapping episode smacks of “sick mentality” of the BJP and added it should be probed as to why the previous government
did so.

“I only had levelled the allegations. Why you want to peek into the people’s private life?” he added.

Last year, an Israeli firm was accused of hacking mobile phones of Indian politicians, activists, lawyersand journalists.

Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, however, strongly denied the phone tapping allegations levelled against his government.

He said phone-tapping was not the culture of the state and his government had not given any such orders.

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