New Delhi :From the IRCTC scam to accusations of accepting bribe in Moin Qureshi’s investigations and ignoring intelligence report on coal scam, the allegations levelled by CBI special director Rakesh Asthana, the number 2 in the probe agency, against the number 1, Alok Verma, will now come under probe by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) following Supreme Court’s order .
There are nine allegations of misconduct, interference in investigation, and corruption — the CVC is required to examine them within two weeks.
Before he was ousted as CBI director late Tuesday night, Verma had booked Asthana for allegedly receiving money to give relief to one Satish Babu Sana, who was being investigated by the CBI in the Moin Qureshi case.
Asthana had levelled similar charges against Verma, before the latter booked him, in letters to the Cabinet Secretary on August 24.
Asthana’s complaint was referred on August 31 to the CVC, which called Asthana for examination on September 10. Asthana produced documents and files to substantiate his allegations against the CBI director. After perusal of documents produced by Asthana, and his deposition, the CVC served a notice on Verma on September 11, demanding files and documents.
One of Asthana’s main allegation was that Sathish Babu Sana paid Verma Rs 2 crore to get a clean chit in the Moin Qureshi case. He claimed Verma held the file for nearly four days and marked it to the Director of Prosecution (DoP) on September 24, and the latter demanded all evidence available on record.
Asthana also said the team under him had opened a lookout circular against Sana, and preemptive action foiled his attempt to escape abroad. The CBI special director claimed that the file was again placed before Verma on October 3 with answers to queries raised by the DoP, but it has not been returned till date.
In his response to the CVC on September 18, Verma instead levelled allegation against Asthana and raised the issue of his integrity. In its communication to CVC, the CBI said it is investigating Asthana’s role in at least half-a-dozen cases.
The CVC’s October 23 order stated, “The CBI requested that complaint of Asthana should be viewed as a desperate attempt by a tainted officer to intimidate officers of various ranks in CBI.”
On making the documents available, the CBI informed CVC on behalf of its director that “records (in Moin Qureshi case) run into thousands of pages, files scattered at various places like branch, malkhana, courts are being sought and will be produced before the commission in 3 weeks”.
Another allegation against Verma relates to the IRCTC scam, involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi, and son Tejashwi Yadav.
Asthana has alleged that Verma had asked him to call off raids planned against Lalu in Patna last year at the last moment. The CBI, however, conducted the raids and filed a chargesheet.
Asthana also claimed that the name of a senior Railways official, Rakesh Saksena, was kept off the FIR in the IRCTC case. Another accusation deals with Verma allegedly not taking action on intelligence inputs. Asthana alleged that despite warning, Sandeep Jajodia and Ashok Chaturvedi, accused in coal scam cases, no lookout notice was served.
Another charge that will come under probe relates to registration of a preliminary enquiry by CBI in the case of land acquisition in Nangli, Umarpur, Tigra, Ulhawas and other villages of Haryana to build residential sectors in Gurgaon. According to Asthana’s complaint, he received information that about Rs 36 crore had changed hands to ensure that the probe was closed and no criminal investigation launched. “It was found that then-director of town planning and a real estate company owner were liasoning with joint director A K Sharma and Alok Verma,” Asthana stated in his complaint.
85 pc loot during Congress regime plugged:PM Modi
Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday described NRIs as India’s brand ambassadors and said they were the symbols of the country’s capabilities.
The Prime Minister was inaugurating the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi. “I consider NRIs India’s brand ambassadors.
They are the symbols of our capacities and capabilities,” he told the gathering.
“People of Indian origin are in leadership roles in countries such as Mauritius, Portugal and Ireland,” he said.
PM Modi also alluded to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s comment that only 15 paise of Re 1 reaches masses and said the Congress government had done nothing to stop the leakage.
The Prime Minister added that his government had stepped in to rectify the situation. The “85 per cent loot” taking place during the Congress regime had been plugged “100 per cent” through technology, he said.
“We have given about Rs 5,80,000 crore to people, transferred to their bank accounts through various schemes. Imagine, if the country was being run on the older system? Then Rs 4,50,000 crore would have vanished,” PM Modi said.
Continuing his attack on the Congress, he said efforts to stop the “leakage” could have been made earlier as well but there was no intention and will power. “Our government is moving towards ensuring that the aid given by government is directly transferred to beneficiary accounts through direct benefit schemes,” he said.
Mauritian Premier Pravind Jugnauth, who is the chief guest for the three-day event, also spoke on the occasion. He hailed the Prime Minister for India’s transformation through initiatives such as the Skill India and the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao schemes. He also praised PM Modi’s global stewardship in promoting clean energy and for setting up the International Solar Alliance.
Jugnauth announced that his country will hold a Bhagwad Gita Mahotsav next month and a Bhojpuri Festival next year.
For the first time, the three-day convention is being organised from January 21 to 23 instead of January 9 to allow participants to visit the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and attend the Republic Day parade in the national capital.
The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Role of Indian diaspora in building new India’.
‘Madrasas promote ISIS ideology, shut them’: UP Shia board chief to PM Modi
New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chief Waseem Rizvi on Tuesday said that madrasas promote ISIS ideology.
Rizvi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shut Islamic seminaries across India so that Muslim children are not influenced by it.
“If madrasas across the country are not shut down soon then after 15 years half of the Muslims will start favouring the ISIS ideology. It has been observed across the world that ISIS is targeting children and asking them to follow them,” Rizvi wrote in the letter.
The UP Shia Board chief added that Muslim children should study with students of other religions in schools so that they are able to get better education.
The comments are likely to irk several Islamic clerics and scholars.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Rizvi cited the example of Kashmir to substantiate his point
“In Kashmir, ISIS supports can be seen in huge numbers. In rural areas, Madrasas are destroying the future of our children being run on donations as their owners are hungry for money,” he stated.
Yashwant throws his hat in PM race, calls self ‘closest’ person to deliver on job creation
New Delhi: Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha threw his hat in the race for prime ministership when he declared himself as the “closest” person who could deliver on job creation, building roads, townships and industries.
Sinha, a former finance minister during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led previous NDA government, also said that Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari would not succeed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he and BJP chief Amit Shah will “not retire” even if the BJP fell below the 200-seat mark in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The former BJP lawmaker said the problem in the country was non-creation of crores of jobs and millions of kilometres of roads. India needs a leader who can make agriculture profitable and set up irrigation projects, townships and industries, he said.
“We have to do a lot of work in this country… We will have to find somebody who is prepared to buy this theory and start doing it,” he said.
Asked who the person could be, Sinha told a news channel, “There is nobody in my mind.”
Asked who was closest to deliver all this, he said, “The closest is me, myself, what I am,” leading to a laughter in the audience of the event hosted by the channel.
“I am very close behind him,” said CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, seated next to him, when asked if he endorsed Sinha.
Various opposition parties are seeking to unite to put up a united front to defeat the Modi-led BJP in general elections, with the BJP taking a swipe at them saying all are prime ministerial aspirants in the opposition camp.
About speculation on whether Gadkari would succeed Modi, the disgruntled former BJP MP said, “There is no hope in hell for that.”
Sinha said what he is saying is “because I know the kind of vice-like grip the current prime minister and the party president have over the BJP and even after the loss in elections where they could be below 200, they will not retire from their leadership.”
“It is a very fond hope that some media people are nursing that Gadkari might succeed Modi,” he said, negating the possibility.