The Opposition parties on Wednesday came down heavily on the government for asking CBI Director Alok Verma to go amid an escalating feud between him and his deputy Rakesh Asthana.
The Congress dubbed it the "last nail" in the agency's independence and the CPI(M) calling it illegal. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) asked the reasons for sending the CBI director on leave.
Chief spokesperson for Congress Randeep Surjewala wondered if Verma was "sacked" for his keenness to investigate the "layers of corruption" in the Rafale scam and sought an answer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Modi govt buries the 'last nail' into the independence of CBI. 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 on Twitter.
Modi Govt buries the ‘last nail’ into the independence of CBI.— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) October 24, 2018
Systematic dismantling & denigrating of CBI is now complete.
Once a premier investigating agency, PM ensures that CBI’s integrity, credibility & reliability is ‘buried & dead’. 1/n pic.twitter.com/11b451jYBV
Attacking the prime minister, he said Modi has sought to achieve surreptitiously and clandestinely what he cannot do directly by sacking the CBI director.
What PM couldn't do directly by removing the CBI director & his collegaues, he has done surreptitiously & in clandestine fashion by taking shelter behind CVC. Has CBI director been transferred because he was about to order a probe into Rafale corruption:Randeep Surjewala,Congress pic.twitter.com/33OzywtOyw— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2018
It has been done to protect the government's handpicked officer against whom serious charges of corruption are being investigated, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, alleging that it points to attempts at a serious cover-up to protect his direct links to the BJP's top political leadership.
"To ensure that the CBI is not a 'caged parrot', the Supreme Court had granted protection to its chief from govt's whims and fancies by giving him a two-year tenure. What is Modi govt trying to hide by its panic move?" he asked.
The Modi govt & the Prime Minister have conducted a political coup against the CBI. They have conducted transfer of all the officers & directors, & main objective appears to be to protect the chosen officers of the Prime Minister posted at CBI: Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M) pic.twitter.com/glMh1ToyBg— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2018
We don't know if CBI was investigating other issues like Rafale scam. If that was the case, it was ordered to protect the govt, PM & concerned officers. Why was the DIG investigating the charges against Asthana has been sent to 'Kala Pani' in Andaman?: Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) pic.twitter.com/EG9hPCD5Zj— ANI (@ANI) October 24, 2018
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal was quick to echo Yechury's thoughts. "What are the reasons for sending CBI director on leave? Under which law did the Modi govt get the authority to initiate action against the chief of an investigating agency appointed as per the Lokpal Act? What is Modi govt trying to hide?" he said on Twitter.
Is there a co-relation betn Rafale deal and removal of Alok Verma? Was Alok Verma about to start investigations into Rafale, which cud become problem for Modi ji?— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 24, 2018