New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday accused Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of manufacturing lies everyday on the Rafale fighter jet deal. It also claimed that the leader is in hallucination as his party has lost relevance. The statement came in reaction over the allegations levelled against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the ‘removal’ of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Alok Verma.

“Congress has lost all hopes to become relevant and Rahul Gandhi is manufacturing lies everyday of Rafale jet deal,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar said while addressing reporters in the national capital. He further said Rahul is living in hallucination and Indian citizens are more mature than him.

Earlier in the day, while addressing a press conference, Congress President Rahul Gandhi upped the ante against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and termed the move of sending Alok Verma on forced leave as ‘illegal and criminal’. He asserted that the PM knew that CBI chief was to begin an inquiry into Rafale fighter jets deal and this scared him and in turn, a panic-stricken PMO forced the CBI Director to go on leave at 2 AM to frantically bury the corruption track.

“CBI Director can be removed by Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India (CJI) and Leader of Opposition together. Appointment is also done by these three,” he said. Adding that the PM did not consult with the CJI and Leader of Opposition before taking the action, he termed the move as an insult to the Constitution of India, CJI, Leader of Opposition and Indian people.

Adding further, he said, “CBI Director was not only removed, his room was sealed. The incriminating documents that were with him were taken away and that is why the work was done at 2 AM. Not only the Director is being removed, efforts are also made to suppress evidence.”

He also questioned decision to hand over the interim charge to M Nageshwar Rao and said, “The charge of CBI has been given to a man who has cases registered against him. Why? Because the PM can control him and that no inquiry can be conducted into Rafale.”

Alok Verma to Remain CBI Director

On Thursday, a CBI spokesperson claimed that Alok Verma will continue to remain the Director of probe agency, while Rakesh Asthana will remain the Special Director. 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.

Supreme Court to Hear Alok Verma’s Plea on Friday

The Supreme Court will on Friday hear the plea filed by Alok Verma against the government’s order of sending him on leave. Verma had filed a petition in the apex court on Wednesday saying that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) autonomy was being compromised as it was against the law mandate to remove a CBI Director before the completion of his tenure. He is likely to produce details of “extremely sensitive” cases to the apex court on October 26.

Calling the government’s action “patently illegal“, he added that certain investigations into high functionaries do not take the direction that may be desirable to the government.