Stalin Questions Interim CBI Chief’s Credibility, Says Several Complaints Against Him Sent to Agency
The DMK president said the Centre's move of sending CBI director Alok Verma on leave was not just 'autocratic', but also one which showed the BJP government's 'administrative anarchy'.
File photo of DMK president MK Stalin. (PTI)
The crisis in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has turned into a political slugfest with the Opposition accusing the Narendra Modi government of enacting a change of guard at a time when the agency is likely to take up cases such as the Rafale deal.
On Wednesday, DMK president MK Stalin criticised the Centre for sending CBI director Alok Verma on leave amid his spat with the agency’s special director Rakesh Asthana, calling the move not just "autocratic", but also one which showed the BJP government's "administrative anarchy".
Both Verma and Asthana have been divested of their powers and sent on leave, as a fallout of a first-of-its kind spat between the top bosses of India's premier investigating agency. Joint Director M Nageswar Rao, a 1986-batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, has been appointed to look after the "duties and functions" of the director with "immediate effect" as an "interim measure".
Stalin also questioned Rao’s credibility, saying several complaints against him were also sent to the agency. “Several complaints were sent to CBI director against Nageshwar Rao and there are reports that Verma wanted to initiate investigations into allegations against him,” he said.
The southern leader linked Verma’s forcible leave with the probe into the Rafale deal, saying, "Reports suggest he had ordered a preliminary enquiry into the Rafale deal. The Prime Minister, who was angered by this, has used the opportunity to appoint IG-level official Rao as director and this is misuse of authority.”
Stalin, the leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly, also referred to the Madras High Court directing a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities against Palaniswami in awarding of road contracts by him.
He said there was a public perception that the Centre's actions were seen more to 'conceal' the Rafale issue rather than protecting Asthana.
Verma was always opposed to the "forceful imposition of Asthana into the CBI by Prime Minister Modi," he said, and condemned the action against Verma. The actions of the Prime Minister created an impression of an "undeclared emergency," he added.
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