It is a given thing that in politics people of the ruling party alleges the opposition party and the same has happened in the case of Maha Vikas Aghadi and the Bharatiya Janata Party. NCP leader and Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh has claimed that the erstwhile BJP government had tapped into the phones of non-BJP leaders in Maharashtra including that of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar during the Maharashtra Assembly elections. And to go into the details, the government has ordered a probe into the misuse of government machinery by the earlier government.
BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhyay said, “Earlier there was no phone tapping issue during elections because it is not in our culture to tap phones of opposition leaders. Neither did the government such orders. But even if someone wants to investigate about the same, he can do so and place the report in front of the people.”
On Thursday, Deshmukh had said, “We have received many complaints of phone-tapping and snooping by the previous government. Phones of senior politicians like Uddhav Thackeray and even Sharad Pawar were tapped to know whom they were talking to.”
According to Deshmukh, the state police’s cyber cell had been asked to look into various complaints about surveillance that came in during the previous government’s tenure.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said, “This is a very serious issue and there is a need for a strict action if the phones of all senior leaders are snooped. The Home minister has raised this issue and I am sure that he will do a proper investigation in the matter as to why was it done, whether it was done with the permission of any court so on and so forth. The report will come after the investigation is complete.”
After this Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut in a tweet on Friday said, “Aapke phone tap ho rahe hai… Yeh jankari mujhe bhajpa ka ek varisht mantri ne bhi de rakhi thi… maine kaha tha bhai sahab … meri baat agar koi sunna chahta hai toh swagat hai..main Balasaheb Thackeray ka chela hoon… koi baat yaa kaam chhup chhupkar nahi karta… Suno meri baat…”
आपके फोन टैप हो रहे है..
ये जानकारी मुझे भाजपा एक वरिष्ठ मंत्रीने भी दे रखी थी. मैने कहां था..भाई साहेब..मेरी बात अगर कोई सुनना चाहता है. तो स्वागत है..मै बाळासाहेब ठाकरेजी का चेला हूं. कोई बात या काम छुप छुपकर नही करता..सुनो मेरी बात.. pic.twitter.com/zLrWajLC6d
— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) January 24, 2020
(Your phone is being tapped. This was told to me by a senior BJP minister earlier. I told him whoever wishes to listen to my conversation is free to do so. I am a disciple of Balasaheb Thackeray, I don’t do anything secretly.)
NCP MLA and spokesperson Vidya Chavan said, “When the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was formed talks held between Sharad Pawar, Sanjay Raut and Uddhav Thackeray was heard by the BJP government like thief. Through this act the government has breached right to privacy. The Maharashtra government will investigate this matter and truth will be unveiled.”
According to sources, the phone tapping exercise was also done after the elections were over and when the negotiations between the parties went on for months before Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress finally formed government in Mahrashtra.
“There is no doubt that the previous dispensation has misused the government machinery to tap of phones of leaders from opposition parties,” the Maharashtra minister further added.
As per report, the officer of cyber cell was sent to Israel to study different softwares used for snooping. And these people used spyware like Pegasus which was recently revealed by WhatsApp as having been used extensively for extracting users’ private data. The new government has shifted out the cyber cell chief amid other bureaucratic transfers.
A few days ago, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had also remarked on the same saying that phones of leaders were tapped by the government during elections and even during coalition of the three-party government. After that, Deshmukh raised the issue and said that the government has begun a probe. He also stated that the officers are looking into the matter and a report is expected to come out soon.