Cong links Rafale probe to removal of CBI Director

Cong links Rafale probe to removal of CBI Director

Alok Verma (PTI file photo)

Congress on Wednesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the ‘removal’ of CBI Director Alok Verma and wondered whether the action was linked to the probe in to the Rafale fighter aircraft.

“PM Modi seeks to achieve surreptitiously & clandestinely what he can’t do directly to sack the CBI Director” Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted and demanded a response from the prime minister.

He accused the Modi government of hitting the “last nail” into the independence of the CBI.

“Has the CBI Director been sacked for his keenness to probe the layers of corruption in Rafale Scam? Isn’t the rest a shoddy cover-up,” Surjewala asked.

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie had submitted a complaint to the CBI alleging violation of the defence procurement procedures and abuse of authority in the Rafale fighter purchase.

The Congress remarks came soon after the Modi government sent CBI Director Alok Verma on leave and appointed M Nageshwar Rao an the interim Director as the war between Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana intensified.

“Systematic dismantling & denigrating of CBI is now complete. Once a premier investigating agency, PM ensures that CBI’s integrity, credibility & reliability is ‘buried & dead’,” Surjewala said.

“Habitual and perpetual misuse of CBI by Modi Government & BJP to tamper fair investigation of serious criminal cases is the reason for this unfathomable mess,” Surjewala said.

He accused Modi of demonstrating the “true colour of his infamous ‘Modi Made Gujarat Model’ by this cloak-and-dagger mugging of CBI.”

In a news conference in Mumbai, the AICC spokesperson said: “A scared and panic-stricken PMO forced the CBI Director to go on leave at 2 AM in the night and transferred a dozen officers, to frantically bury the corruption track. This is the infamous ‘Modi-made Gujarat model’ for cloak and dagger mugging of CBI to stifle, subjugate and suppress India’s premier investigative agency.”

He said that be it judiciary or the Central Vigilance Commission, be it the National Investigation Agency (NIA) or the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and be it the Income Tax Department, CBDT or the SFIO- one after the other, the Modi government has attempted to dismantle, destroy and undermine each institution.

“All agencies and institutions have been surreptitiously infiltrated by ‘Yes Man’ of Modi,” he said and added, “But Facts have a habit to cut through the fog. The only Fact is – that PM Modi is petrified that the No 1 in the CBI was about to take steps that might have hurt him in the Rafale scam.”

Questioning the removal of the CBI’s top boss, he wanted to know why it was being undertaken.

“Why did PM remove the CBI Director? What was the tearing hurry to remove him without the approval of the Selection Committee and by violating the Supreme Court judgement? Why was an interim chief appointed at 2 AM?  Does it not tantamount to complete trashing and slithering of Constitutional norms, law and all semblance of political morality and accountability?,” he said.

He said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad are trying to cover up the whole issue.

 “The No 2 in the CBI is clearly an accused, this ‘Godhra-SIT fame’  and ‘Vijay Mallya hand-shake famed’ person is the only accused in this case. The No 1 was probing the allegations against the No 2. Now, No 2 wakes up and makes counter allegations in cahoots with the Modi government and CVC,” he said.

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