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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Very afraid of investigation, Congress slams PM Modi on Alok Verma’s removal

By removing Alok Verma as CBI chief without giving him the chance to present his case, PM Modi has shown once again that he’s too afraid of an investigation, Congress said in a tweet.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2019 21:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
By removing Alok Verma as CBI chief without giving him the chance to present his case, PM Modi has shown once again that he’s too afraid of an investigation, Congress said in a tweet.
By removing Alok Verma as CBI chief without giving him the chance to present his case, PM Modi has shown once again that he’s too afraid of an investigation, Congress said in a tweet. (AP)
         

Moments after Alok Verma was removed as the CBI chief, Congress targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not giving him a chance and said Modi was “too afraid of an investigation” into the controversial Rafale deal.

Verma, who was sent on leave by the government in October and reinstated by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, was shunted out of the CBI on Thursday by a PM-led panel, which includes Justice AK Sikri and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. News agency Press Trust of India said Kharge had opposed the order and gave a dissent note.

“By removing Alok Verma from his position without giving him the chance to present his case, PM Modi has shown once again that he’s too afraid of an investigation, either by an independent CBI director or by Parliament via JPC,” Congress said in a tweet.

 

Verma was removed from the high-profile post on charges of corruption and dereliction of duty. He was earlier sent on leave following an internal feud with his deputy Rakesh Asthana, as a fallout of which he was accused of corruption.

In its verdict this week, the Supreme Court ended Alok Verma’s 77-day forced leave because the government hadn’t followed the right process. It, however, made it clear that Verma could not take any policy decisions and left it to the PM-led selection committee to decide within a week on his future.

Called the next day, Kharge initially asked for a few days to study the verdict, but eventually joined the PM and Justice Sikri, when his request wasn’t accepted.

 

According to sources, Kharge wanted that Verma should have been given an opportunity to rebut the allegations levelled against him. He said during the meeting that Verma, who was sent on a forced leave, should not be penalised and be given an extension of 77 days for which he was not allowed to attend the office, PTI reported.

Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took yet another swipe at Prime Minister Modi over the Rafale deal, accusing him of being in a ‘tearing hurry to sack the CBI chief’.

“Why is the PM in such a tearing hurry to sack the CBI Chief? Why will he not allow the CBI Chief to present his case in front of the selection committee?” Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress president, who has led the opposition offensive against PM Modi over the Rafale deal, then went on to answer the questions himself. “Answer: RAFALE,” he tweeted.

 

In his speeches, Rahul Gandhi has suggested that PM Modi had attempted to remove Alok Verma because the CBI director wanted to probe the Rafale deal. Gandhi and other opposition parties allege that the government bought overpriced fighter jets from French aviation firm.

First Published: Jan 10, 2019 21:14 IST