Fadnavis denies his govt tapped phones, dares probe to 'find truth'

Devendra Fadnavis during a press conference in Mumbai, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, when he was Maharashtra's chief minister.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday denied his government spied on the phone conversations of its political rivals, challenging the new administration to "find the truth".

Fadnavis, who was chief minister from 2014 and 2019, said this after state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh alleged that government resources were used to tap the phones of politicians during the formation of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government last year.

"Phone-tapping is not the culture of Maharashtra. My government had not given any such orders," said Fadnavis, who is now the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, in a statement.

"The whole country knows the credibility of those who have levelled such allegations," said Fadnavis about the MVA) government, which comprises the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress party.

"The state government is free to probe the allegations with the help of any machinery. People of Maharashtra know the truth. A Shiv Sena leader was the minister of state for home during my tenure."

"I have a request- the government should immediately conduct an inquiry and make the report public. If it wants to go to Israel for the probe, it should do that," he said.

Deshmukh had said that the Maharashtra police’s cyber cell has been asked to probe complaints of phone tapping against the Fadnavis government.

He also said that the MVA government is identifying officers who were reportedly sent to Israel to study that country’s spying software.

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