Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday warned the Congress of “disastrous consequences” if it continued to use the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to try and implicate BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. “The Congress is playing with fire by trying to implicate Narendra Modi. The people of the country will not accept dirty politicking by the Congress. This will boomerang on the Congress,” Mr. Naidu said at a press conference here.

He called for insulation of investigative agencies from political interference, and said the Congress had been misusing the CBI to harass political opponents and keep allies under control. “The UPA has ensured longevity courtesy CBI,” he said.

Though Mr. Naidu welcomed the five-year jail term handed to former Bihar Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad in a fodder scam case, he said there was an abnormal delay in meting out justice as the CBI had gone slow on the case because of political pressure.

 “Though justice is delayed, it is not denied … there was an abnormal delay of 17 years … But we cannot find fault in judicial system for it. Even the CBI had asked adjournment a number of times in the case.”

 The verdict, he said, was “expected” as it involved “a serious offence involving massive corruption.” To avoid such delays, the BJP would insist on setting up special courts to fast-track trial of politicians in corruption cases, Mr. Naidu said.

 “The lessons we have learnt is fast-track courts are needed to try corruption cases against politicians. The BJP will insist in Parliament on setting up of special courts for politicians, vis-à-vis corruption.”

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