New Delhi, January 10: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday fired a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal. In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi alleged that PM Modi wanted to remove CBI director Alok Kumar Verma because he was going to probe the Rafale deal. The Congress chief's tweet came two days after the Supreme Court reinstated Verma as the CBI director.
"1. Why is the PM in such a tearing hurry to sack the CBI Chief? 2. Why will he not allow the CBI Chief to present his case in front of the selection committee? Answer: RAFALE," Gandhi tweeted. Verma was sent on forced leave on the intervening night of October 23-24, days after he met lawyer Prashant Bhushan and former Union minister Arun Shourie who wanted a probe into alleged corruption in the Rafale aircraft deal. CBI Bribery Case: Alok Verma Revokes Transfer Orders Issued by Nageswara Rao.
1. Why is the PM in such a tearing hurry to sack the CBI Chief?
2. Why will he not allow the CBI Chief to present his case in front of the selection committee ?
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 10, 2019
The apex court set aside the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Centre's decision to divest Verma of his powers to function as CBI director but with a caveat that he will not take any policy decision till a high-level committee goes into the issue afresh. Selection Panel Meet to Discuss Charges Against CBI Director Alok Verma Ends Inconclusively.
Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana also levelled corruption allegations against each other. In October, matters came to a head when Verma lodged an FIR against Asthana on a complaint by one Satish Sana Babu, the alleged middleman in the meat exporter Moin Qureshi case. Asthan is said to be close to PM Narendra Modi.
Reacting to the top court's verdict, Rahul Gandhi said: "CBI chief (Verma) was removed because he wanted to start a probe into the Rafale (deal). Now we have some justice, let's see what happens. Nothing is going to save the Prime Minister from Rafale...nothing."