Sanjay Raut claims BJP leader told him Fadnavis govt tapped his phone

Earlier, Anil Deshmukh and Digvijaya Singh had levelled similar allegations against the previous govt

Sanjay Raut
The ED had arrested Sanjay Raut on Sunday night in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the redevelopment of Patra chawl in Mumbai | PTI File

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Friday (January 24) said his phone was being tapped by the previous Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra. He said a BJP leader had informed him about the tapping.

“A BJP leader had told me my phone was being tapped. I said if anybody wants to listen to what I am saying I welcome it. I am Balasaheb’s chela (disciple). Whatever I do, I do it openly,” Raut told reporters. “In spite of the phone-tapping, we formed government in Maharashtra,” he said.

The Rajya Sabha MP’s remarks come a day after State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh alleged the Fadnavis dispensation misused government machinery to tap phones of opposition leaders, especially during the formation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

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“The cyber cell of Maharashtra police has been asked to look into the various complaints of snooping/phone tapping that came in during the previous government,” Deshmukh had said on Thursday.

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh too had earlier alleged that phones of opposition leaders were tapped by the Fadnavis government. He had also raised questions about the involvement of officials in the phone-tapping episode.

On the NCP’s allegation that the Centre has withdrawn party chief Sharad Pawar’s security at his official residence in New Delhi, Raut said it could have been because Pawar was instrumental in forming the Shiv Sena-led government in the state.

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“It could have been because Pawar was instrumental in the formation of the Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra. A few years ago, he was attacked in Delhi. Even the Gandhis’ SPG security was withdrawn recently,” Raut said.

The Rajya Sabha MP was referring to the Centre’s recent move of withdrawing the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children, Rahul and Priyanka.

(With inputs from agencies)