CBI raid opens Pandora's box

The CBI raid on the office and residence of Rajender Kumar, principal secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has once again raised the political temperature by heightening the confrontation between the Delhi government and the Centre, between the Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP and in general between the Central government and the Opposition. It has also again brought into focus charges of irregularities against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley concerning the affairs of Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) which he once headed. The raid related to charges of corruption levelled against the senior bureaucrat during his previous stints, and there are questions about the way the raid was conducted and how Kejriwal responded to it. Kejriwal quickly came to his secretary’s defence and said that the he was the real target, and the aim was to seize files relating to Jaitley’s role while at the helm of DDCA’s affairs. Kejriwal’s anti-corruption credentials may have called for a more cautious response, but he seems to be convinced that the raid was only a vindictive action directed at him. He has charged that the CBI has orders to go after all the Opposition parties. However, the choice of words made by Kejriwal, who called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “coward and psychopath,” was unfortunate. It was unbecoming of a chief minister to use such language against the prime minister, and it marked an unhappy low in public discourse.

The raid has raised some questions of propriety and concern in some states. No one expects forewarnings about such raids, but a part of the chief minister’s premises were sealed and Kejriwal was kept away from his office for some time. In these times of increasing distrust and growing vitiation of the political atmosphere, some chief ministers have seen it as an attack on federal norms and a warning to them too.

The government’s insistence that it had nothing to do with the CBI’s action would not be believed. The raid in fact has again strengthened the perception that the CBI is controlled by the government and is used for its political ends. There has never been peace between the Centre and the Delhi government since the Aam Aadmi Party came to power. The Delhi Police have not only cocked a snook at the Delhi government but have been keen to harass some of its functionaries too. The CBI raid will also be seen in that context. The present controversy may not have arisen at all if Central agencies like the CBI and the Intelligence Bureau were independent. But the NDA uses them as much as all past governments did.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry