MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena (UBT) on Wednesday took a dim view of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ claim that the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government had tried to put him in jail, and asked the BJP leader in which case was he ”fearing” arrest. An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ claimed that IPS officers had threatened MVA legislators to support Fadnavis and spied on them by tapping their phones.
Fadnavis should explain if such ”illegal” phone tapping is a crime or not, it said.
Maharashtra’s political culture has never seen instances of arrest of political opponents and harassment of their family members, the Marathi publication said.
After the 2019 Assembly polls, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena snapped ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the issue of sharing the chief ministerial post.
Thackeray later tied-up with the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress to form the MVA in the state. His government collapsed in June last year after a revolt against the Sena leadership by Eknath Shinde and 39 other legislators. On June 30, Shinde became the chief minister with BJP leader Fadnavis as his deputy.
Fadnavis recently said the previous MVA government had given a target to then Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey to put me in jail, but the police officer could not succeed as he had done nothing wrong.
Reacting to it, the Saamana editorial on Wednesday asked, ”Why is Fadnavis scared that he may be arrested?” ”In which case was he fearing arrest and what connection did he have with the case…Fadnavis should have clarified,” it said. ”In the last few days, Fadnavis has been speaking blatant lies,” it claimed, adding this is not the ”sanskar” of the Sangh (RSS).
The Marathi daily said the MVA government had filed cases against IPS officer Rashmi Shukla in Pune and Mumbai in connection with the alleged phone tapping . The phones of MVA leaders were illegally tapped when Fadnavis was the chief minister, it said. The phone numbers of MVA leaders were out for tapping under different names said to be of drug peddlers and terrorists, it claimed.
Fadnavis should also explain if such ”illegal” tapping is a crime or not, the editorial said.
The investigating officers in the case visited Fadnavis when he was the leader of opposition and took his statement respectfully. There was no need to make an issue out of it, the Marathi daily said.
MVA leaders Anil Deshmukh, Nawab Malik, Sanjay Raut was arrested by central probe agencies unnecessarily. If the phone tapping case was not serious enough, why was former Mumbai police chief Sanjay Pandey arrested in the same case, the editorial asked.
The cases against Rashmi Shukla were dropped and she was promoted, it noted. In fact, the Eknath Shinde-Fadnavis government should have taken the phone tapping case to its logical end by allowing completion of the probe into it, the editorial said.
Source: Press Trust of India