CBI feud: Narendra Modi acted in panic, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi during a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi on October 25, 2018. Photo: Twitter/@INCIndia  

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of forcing CBI Director Alok Verma to go on indefinite leave out of “panic”, as Mr. Modi wanted to stop him from starting an investigation into the Rafale deal.

After making these remarks at an election meeting in Rajasthan, he said at a press conference here that Mr. Verma’s “removal was not only illegal and criminal” but it was also an insult to the Constitution, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition.

Without naming Joint Director Nageswara Rao, Mr. Gandhi accused the Prime Minister of choosing a “corrupt official” as interim head in an attempt to control it.

Earlier, at an election rally in Sikar district, Mr. Gandhi said the CBI chief was sent on leave in the middle of the night as the Prime Minister was afraid of an investigation. He said the nation’s chowkidar [watchman], as Mr. Modi described himself, had defamed all watchmen in the country.

Mr. Gandhi asked the crowd to raise the slogan Chowkidar Chor Hai (the watchman is a thief), alleging that the “unprecedented corruption” in the Rafale deal had led to the theft of ₹30,000 crore. There was no justification for ignoring Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., which had brought victory to India in the wars since 1965, in the indigenous production of fighter aircraft.

Repeating the charge at the press conference in Delhi, he said the reason Mr. Verma was removed at 2 a.m. was that “incriminating evidence could be acquired by sealing his room”. “Understand the PM’s mental state... He knows the day CBI starts a probe, that day he [Mr Modi] would be finished. So this reaction that you see from the PM is a panic reaction. It is taken out of fear and is actually irrational,” he said.

(With inputs from Mohammed Iqbal)

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 2:37:53 AM |

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