Uddhav, Sharad phones tapped : Ready to expose BJP: Raut; Fadnavis denies

Uddhav, Sharad phones tapped : Ready to expose BJP: Raut; Fadnavis denies
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Highlights

Amid allegations Maharashtra BJP tapped the phones of senior opposition leaders, including NCP and Shiv Sena chiefs Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray, when it ruled the state, Sena leader Sanjay Raut claimed a senior BJP leader had told him his phone calls and messages were, in fact, being monitored.

Mumbai: Amid allegations Maharashtra BJP tapped the phones of senior opposition leaders, including NCP and Shiv Sena chiefs Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray, when it ruled the state, Sena leader Sanjay Raut claimed a senior BJP leader had told him his phone calls and messages were, in fact, being monitored.

Raut, who was fiercely critical of the BJP in the days and weeks following last year's Assembly election and the split in relations between the two parties, also said he had nothing to hide and that he "welcomed" anybody who wanted to listen to his conversations.

"'Your phone is being tapped'... I have been informed by a senior BJP minister. I said, 'Sir... if anyone wants to listen to my conversations, they are welcome to do so," Sanjay Raut said on Twitter on Friday.

"I am a disciple of Bal Thackeray. I don't say or do anything in secrecy. It is all in the open... so go ahead, listen to my phone conversations," Raut added.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh alleged the previous government - led by the BJP's Devendra Fadnavis - misused government machinery to tap phones of senior opposition leaders.

He later ordered a probe. Former CM Fadnavis denied his government issued any such orders, saying "phone-tapping is not the culture of Maharashtra".

"The whole country knows the credibility of those who have levelled such allegations," Fadnavis, who is now Leader of the Opposition, said in a statement. Meanwhile,

The Nationalist Congress Party-Shiv Sena on Friday took strong umbrage at the abrupt withdrawal of security from the New Delhi residence of Sharad Pawar.

"This is shocking The Prime Minister is aware that Sharad Pawar is a senior leader who faces threats and was attacked in the past. We have witnessed it," said Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

He said that earlier security was downgraded for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and now Pawar which is a matter of serious concern.

Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil took a swipe at the Opposition BJP saying from Mumbai to New Delhi, they are sore at the change of government in Maharashtra.

"That is why the BJP is now taking revenge This is dangerous in a democracy," said Patil.

State Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad said: "Sharad Pawar is like the Sahyadri mountains He''s not one to be daunted by any intimidating tactics "

Awhad said there''s nothing to worry since "the affection of the masses is the real security cover of Pawar Saheb".

According to information available, security personnel of Delhi Police who were posted at the Pawar residence in the national capital were abruptly withdrawn from January 20, though in Maharashtra he is accorded adequate security both at home and on his tours.

However, there are no reactions so far from either Pawar, his daughter Supriya Sule, MP or nephew and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

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