Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
ANI Photo

Mumbai: The charge of phone tapping of political rivals by the previous Devendra Fadnavis government has snowballed into a big controversy.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi constituents on Friday dared the BJP to come clean on phone tapping of political opponents, ahead of the assembly and Lok Sabha polls and during the recent process of government formation.

They strongly defended Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's decision to order an inquiry into the alleged tapping of phones of Sharad Pawar, CM and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut by the Maharashtra Cyber Cell and alleged that the BJP could stoop to any level to remain in power.  However, the BJP has denied these charges saying that the party-led government never issued any such order.

Deshmukh decided to institute an inquiry based on complaints received by him and also tweets posted by Congress MP and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

In a tweet, Singh said: "Is Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray going to put out in public domain details of who was behind the snooping and tapping in Maharashtra? Who were the State Government officers who went to Israel to talk to NSO -- the brain behind the malware Pegasus?"

Deshmukh said the inquiry will reveal who had gone to Israel to study the snoop software and whether there was any official engagement. 

Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, who is a close confidant of Pawar, claimed that the phone tapping episode smacks of the "sick mentality" of the BJP and added it should be probed as to why the previous government indulged in it.

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