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Was transferred on false allegations by 1 person inimical to me: Alok Verma

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Former CBI director Alok Verma, who was ousted from the agency by a high-powered selection committee, has said that he was transferred on the basis of “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations” made by only one person, who was inimical to him.

Verma who was transferred as the Director General Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, two days after Supreme Court reinstated him as the CBI chief, was replaced by M Nageshwar Rao as interim director till government finds next director for the agency, a government order said on Thursday.

Rao assumed charge of the agency on Thursday at 9 pm, an internal order of the CBI said.

 

Breaking his silence, Verma in a statement to PTI aid that the CBI, being a prime investigating agency dealing in corruption in high public places, is an institution whose independence should be preserved and protected.

“It must function without external influences. I have tried to uphold the integrity of the institution while attempts were being made to destroy it. The same can be seen from the orders of the central government and the CVC dated October 23, 2018, which were without jurisdiction and were set aside,” he said.

Verma said it was “sad” that he was transferred to another post pursuant to the orders of the committee on the basis of “false, unsubstantiated and frivolous allegations made by only one person, who was inimical to him”.

In the statement, he said the committee was assigned the task of deciding his future course of action as the CBI director.

Special Director Rakesh Asthana, with whom Verma had a public feud, had given a complaint against him to the cabinet secretary in August, which was referred to the Central Vigilance Commission.

The report given by the commission carried most of the allegations which led to the ouster of Verma.

According to Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who was the dissenting voice in the three member committee also comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Justice A K Sikri, there were 10 allegations.

Six were false, four needed further investigations, and four had circumstantial evidence and were “unflattering” to Verma, he said in his note to the committee.

Asthana was booked by the CBI on October 15, 2018 on the basis of a magisterial statement recorded by a businessman Sathish Babu Sana who had claimed that two businessmen brothers had sought bribe of Rs 5 crore from him to get relief to him in a CBI case against him using their contacts with the special director.

Verma, a 1979-batch IPS officer, was transferred as Director General Fire Services after the high-powered selection committee decided to remove him from the post of the CBI director.

“I have stood up for the integrity of the institution, and if asked will do it again in order to uphold the rule of law,” he said.


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National

‘Mahagathbandhan’ club of ‘nawabs of negativity’: Jaitley

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Mumbai: The opposition “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) is a club of “nawabs of negativity” and the only glue of this diverse grouping is its opposition to one man (Narendra Modi), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

People of an aspirational society which is politically conscious will not buy into this “suicidal” alternative, the senior BJP leader said.

“The nawabs of negativity may come together but that is not something that will carry credibility as far as people are concerned,” Jaitley said, speaking via video link at the CNBC-TV18 India Business Leadership Awards event. During the video call, Jaitley also spoke about the Union Budget.

 

This was the first time Jaitley, now in the US for medical treatment, addressed a gathering since leaving the country on Tuesday.

The setback the ruling BJP suffered in Assembly elections in three heartland states recently (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan) has enthused some opposition leaders about the likely electoral success of such an alternative.

The “mahagathbandhan” has neither the ideological cohesiveness nor a common programme aimed at building the country or an individual leader, Jaitley said.

As against the BJP’s strengths of leadership, decisiveness, performance and potential, the point being put forward by the opposition is of arithmetic, Jaitley highlighted.

In politics, it is not the arithmetic but chemistry which succeeds, he added.

“The premise is that we have politics which is negative in character and the negative politics is we want one man (Narendra Modi) out. On that negativity of wanting one man out, they (Opposition) have come together,” Jaitley said.

Arun Jaitley also said there is a need to elevate the political debate in the run up to the elections and stressed that we cannot afford a “sloganised political debate” where emotional cries take over sound policy.

Without mentioning the promise of farm loan waivers, which the opposition Congress is pitching for, the minister said “sloganised policies” never help the larger interest of the economy and it is the country’s aspirations which will receive a setback in the process.

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Govt compromising national security, why 36 Rafale jets instead of 126: Chidambaram

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New Delhi: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday accused the government of compromising national security and asked why it bought only 36 Rafale fighter jets instead of 126 required by the Air Force.

His comments come in the wake of fresh revelations on the Rafale deal in a media report which claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to but 36 aircraft instead of the 126 asked for by the Air Force pushed the price of each jet up by 41.42 per cent.

“In the light of new facts and revelations in THE HINDU, the question gains greater urgency: why did the government buy only 36 Rafale aircraft instead of 126 aircraft required by the Air Force?,” Chidambaram asked in a tweet.

 

“The Government has compromised national security by denying to the Air Force the 7 squadrons (126 aircraft) that it desperately needs,” he said.

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia also took to Twitter to demand answers from Modi on the increased cost of aircraft. “The PM’s unilateral decision to buy 36 Rafales resulted in a price escalation of 41.42 per cent per jet. When will the prime minister answer? he asked.

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No war, but soldiers are dying on borders: Bhagwat

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Nagpur: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said requisite steps need to combat killings on the border, as soldiers are being martyred sans a war-like situation in the country.

“In our country, there is no war at the moment, still people (soldiers) are getting martyred…Because we are not doing our jobs properly. We need to make efforts in this regard. If we want our country to reach the top, then we all should learn to sacrifice,” he said at a gathering here on Thursday.

Furthermore, Bhagwat said the responsibility of safeguarding the country should not be solely shouldered by the Forces.

 

“Everybody has to make efforts in this regard. This is not something for which we can give a contract to somebody. We keep thinking that the government will do it or the army will do it, the police will do it, but it’s not like that, the entire society has to make efforts,” he opined.

Citing the example of Israel, Bhagwat noted: “If one looks closely, after 70 long years, those countries in comparison with India have done better in terms of growth and development. Israel is a classic example. The natives were weed out before the 19 c. But citizens there gradually came back to their country and started their businesses, trade etc. Finally, in 1948 they got independence.”

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