In the ongoing tussle between two factions of the CBI, the government of the day, citing ongoing investigations, has sent both the officers involved Rakesh Asthana and Alok Verma on leave. However, the Opposition, ready to attack the Modi government on almost any and every incident that takes place in the country, has claimed that Verma’s ouster is because of his keenness to probe the Rafale deals.
Stating that the country and the constitution are in ‘danger’ Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted that Verma was forcefully sent on leave because he was ‘collecting documents in the Rafale scam’.
CBI चीफ आलोक वर्मा राफेल घोटाले के कागजात इकट्ठा कर रहे थे। उन्हें जबरदस्ती छुट्टी पर भेज दिया गया।
प्रधानमंत्री का मैसेज एकदम साफ है जो भी राफेल के इर्द गिर्द आएगा- हटा दिया जाएगा, मिटा दिया जाएगा।
देश और संविधान खतरे में हैं।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 24, 2018
Congress official handle, too, tweeted on similar lines that ‘democracy is in danger’.
As law enforcement agencies narrow down on the #RafaleScam, Modi govt’s action to remove CBI chief Alok Verma overnight is a strong message to everyone. The message that anyone questioning the scam will be removed. Our democracy is in danger! pic.twitter.com/USlEdiPqNu
— Congress (@INCIndia) October 24, 2018
These claims, by all standards, seem concocted and fantastical with no evidence as back up. However, while lending their support to Verma, Congress is conveniently forgetting that when he was appointed as the new CBI chief in January 2017, Congress had vehemently opposed his appointment. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge had given a dissent note when Verma was appointed as the CBI chief citing he had no experience of having served in CBI and also had very little experience in vigilance.
Verma is a 1979 batch IPS officer from Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre and was appointed CBI director for a period of 2 years by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet.
Not-so-surprisingly, Congress is not the only one who has suddenly changed their stance on Verma. Supreme Court lawyer and now-ousted Aam Aadmi Party founding member Prashant Bhushan, too, extended his support to Verma after having opposed his appointment terming it ‘illegal’. It would seem like the only motive of Congress and its sympathisers like Prashant Bhushan is to oppose the decisions of Modi government even if it means throwing caution and consistency to the wind.