Bhopal, November 17: Reacting to the Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal governments' decision to bar the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from entering the states, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said: "there’s no sovereignty of any state in the matter of corruption". The two state governments have withdrawn their “general consent” to the CBI to conduct raids and investigations.
Taking a dig at Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, Arun Jaitley said those who had a lot to hide would fear the CBI. “It is only those who have a lot to hide will take the step of saying let the CBI not come to my state. There is no sovereignty of any state in the matter of corruption,” Jaitley said in response to a query. Demonetisation Highly Ethical Move, Not Political: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“It is believed that Andhra’s move is not motivated by any particular case, but by the fear of what is likely to happen. I am not saying anything more than that at the moment,” he added. Referring to the alleged Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting operation, he said, “Saradha and Narada in West Bengal cannot be wiped off merely by saying that for the future, I de-notify the CBI.”
Jaitley was speaking to reporters after releasing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) manifesto for the November 28 Madhya Pradesh assembly elections. Due to the withdrawal of "general consent" by Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal government, the CBI would now need permission from the respective state governments to carry out any investigation in these states.
However, the central agency can conduct searches and investigation in these states that are ordered by the courts and against central government officials.