Shunting of CBI Director brings focus back on Rafale

Shunting of CBI Director brings focus back on Rafale

Rahul Gandhi

After a seeming lull, the focus was back on the Rafale deal on Wednesday with Congress president Rahul Gandhi claiming that CBI Director Alok Verma was shunted out by the Modi government as he was gathering details on the contentious fighter aircraft purchase.

“PM removed the CBI Director to stop him from investigating Rafale. Mr 56 broke the law when he bypassed CJI & LOP. Mr Modi, Rafale is a deadly aircraft with a superb radar. You can run, but you can't hide from It,” Rahul said on Twitter.

Training its guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress claimed that he was suffering from “Rafale-o-phobia” and was out to demolish the premier investigation agency to “save his own skin”.

“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? Let PM answer,” Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted.

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

The trio has now moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal.

A section of the Congress leaders believed that Verma, the CBI Director sent on leave, could set in motion an investigation into the Rafale fighter jet deal before his retirement in February next year.

“Definitely, the facts on the Rafale deal that are in the public domain can form the basis of any action. There are no two views that the government of the day will be scared of any independent, competent, and impartial officer who upholds the law,” Singhvi said.

Over the past few days, the Rafale issue appeared to take a back seat as issues such as the rising prices of petrol and Sabarimala temple crisis assumed centerstage.

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