New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that sacking of CBI chief Alok Verma twice showed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a “prisoner of his own lies” and there was fear in his mind over the alleged corruption in the Rafale aircraft deal.
Gandhi’s attack came hours after Verma was removed as CBI director by a high-powered committee headed by Modi on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty, in an unprecedented action in the central probe agency’s 55-year history.
“Fear is now rampaging through Mr Modi’s mind. He can’t sleep. He stole 30,000 crore from the IAF and gave it to Anil Ambani. Sacking CBI Chief Alok Verma twice in a row, clearly shows that he is now a prisoner of his own lies. Satyamev Jayate,” he tweeted.
The Congress party also termed the government’s action as a “gross miscarriage of justice” and alleged that the Prime Minister was trying to protect his and his government’s “wrong-doings” by appointing a “pliable officer”.
Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma alleged that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) “had lost credibility and was compromised”. He said the present CVC had no authority to form a panel of officers as mandated under the law. Sharma also alleged that the CVC was acting at the behest of the Prime Minister’s office.
He demanded an independent probe monitored by the Supreme Court into the events of October 23/24 night when Verma was removed as CBI Director in a ‘midnight operation’.
Addressing a press conference, Sharma said, “It is not only a gross miscarriage of justice, it’s a travesty… that we have a situation where even the basic tenets of natural justice have been thrown to the winds by none other than the committee chaired by the PM.”
He alleged that the Prime Minister was stopping the CBI from investigating himself and his ministers, an obvious reference to the alleged corruption in the Rafale aircraft deal.
Sharma also supported Mallikarjun Kharge’s views that Verma has the right to present his case and alleged that the government did not want the CBI to investigate certain cases.
Sharma alleged that the Prime Minister was preparing a ‘Suraksha Kavach’ for himself and his friends so that the acts of “omissions and commissions” under him are not looked into for the next two years. He alleged that the decision has further dented the reputation of the CBI.
While there was no immediate comment available from the PMO, the BJP termed the Congress a “sore loser”, saying the party has been left to lick its wounds “after failing to subvert the central probe agency by joining internal personal battles”.
To the BJP’s charges, Sharma said the Prime Minister wants to “compromise” the investigating agency to target opposition through political vendetta.
Sharma said today’s developments are “very disturbing” and the CBI has been “deliberately wrecked by the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister’s Office and the BJP government”.
“They are uncomfortable with an independent CBI with the authority under law to investigate or probe any matter, any person in high authority and to act according to the law for any act of omission, commission or irregularity.”