New Delhi: Alok Verma will continue to remain the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, while Rakesh Asthana will remain CBI Special Director, a spokesperson of the probe agency claimed on Thursday. He also asserted that M Nageshwar Rao will take care of the duties and functions of the CBI Director in the interim period till the time CVC looks into the allegations.

The decision came a day after Alok Verma was sent on a leave over allegations against him. After being stripped off of the duties as the probe agency chief, he moved the Supreme Court alleging that the Centre’s decision was against the apex court’s directions for an independent CBI.

“Law mandates secured 2-year tenure of CBI Director to ensure independence. Decision of transfer of CBI Director rests with high powered Committee. Centre’s decision goes against SC directions for an independent CBI,” Verma said.

Earlier on Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the removal of the CBI chief saying that the PM is scared as the agency was about to start probing the Rafale fighter jet deal. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has already dismissed the allegations terming it to be “rubbish”.

On Thursday, talking to Mahila Congress workers in Kota and at a rally in Sikar, Gandhi brought up Rafale and the CBI again. He also mocked Modi over an earlier remark that he wanted to be the country’s watchman against corruption. “Two days ago the watchman did something new,” the Congress chief said.

“It was not done in the daytime, but when people of the country were sleeping,” he said, referring to the government decision on the CBI.

“I feel sad that one watchman has defamed all watchmen of the country. These watchmen are not at fault as they are working honestly. We are talking about an individual who had asked to be made a ‘chowkidar’ rather than the prime minister,” Gandhi said at the ‘Maha Sankalp’ rally in Sikar district.