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Yet another institution under threat

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on November 03, 2018 with No Comments

The controversy can hit the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has been presenting himself as a strong, decisive and one who holds a firm control over the government and the party, however the latest happening remind of the famous quote, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have not wanted this controversy in CBI to erupt at a time, when the major headlines in India don’t present a happy atmosphere there, be it on the economic front or the political front. Consider few headlines: Rising fuel prices, falling Indian rupee, the RBI report that has confirmed that demonetization was not that fruitful exercise, arrest of left activists in the Bhima Koregaon agitation was an attempt to shield the real culprits, number of businessmen fleeing the country with unpaid loans of banks is increasing with each passing month,  an infrastructure finance company goes bust with Rs 91,000 crore in debt, one minister M. J. Akbar made to resign after over a dozen journalists came out with allegations of sexual harassment against him. Headline after headline suggesting that the government unduly favoured Reliance groups Anil Ambani in Rafale offsets.

What is being projected as an action of removing the two top officers to broker peace between the two and to bring some calm with the CBI, have deep roots from the very time  the deputy director Rakesh Asthana was bought into the CBI.  Asthana was hand-picked by the Prime Minister’s Office to lead India’s premier anti corruption body as the interim chief from December 2016-January 2017 when there was a delay in appointing a full time director. He was promoted three days before the retirement of the then CBI chief.  Asthana is known to be a blue eyed boy of Narendra Modi and BJP Chief Amit Shah. Asthana headed the Special Investigation Team of the Gujarat Police that probed the 2002 Godhra train massacre. During his earlier stint with CBI, he arrested Modi’s arch rival Lalu Prasad Yada in the fodder scam and as soon as NDA came to power in 2014, he was brought to New Delhi and posted in CBI.  The stated reason for the feud between CBI Director Alok Vemra and Ashtana is a case of corruption and bribery registered against Asthana by the CBI. He was booked for allegedly receiving over Rs 3 crore from a middleman. At the same time, questions are being raised over the removal of the CBI chief and his attempt to investigate the much controversial Rafale deal. Was Alok Verma about to start investigations into Rafale, which could have become a problem for Narendra Modi government, Narendra Modi himself and his close associates the Ambanis? Was this the reason for sending CBI director on leave? What was the urgency to call a meeting past 2 am in the midnight to initiate action?

The Modi government has made mockery of all the institutions in India with CBI getting added to that list and no wonder the next could be the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The illegal removal of the CBI chief by the Modi government points to a serious cover-up attempt by it to protect their own handpicked officer, against whom serious charges of corruption are being investigated. The Modi government and the prime minister have conducted a political coup against the CBI. They have conducted the transfer of all the officers and directors, in order to cover up what is likely going to be the biggest scam in India. Recent happenings in the CBI show the kind of the damage that is being caused by the present BJP government to the Constitutional authorities and institutions of parliamentary democracy in India.  CBI chief Alok Verma was gathering the documents of the Rafale Scam and he has been sent on a forced leave. The message is clear; whosoever will question the Rafale deal will be removed even if it means attacking the autonomy of the institutions.



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