New Delhi: Hitting back at the Congress for attacking the Modi government over the removal of CBI Director Alok Verma on corruption charges, the BJP on Thursday called it a “sore loser”, saying the party has been left to lick its wounds “after failing to subvert the central probe agency by joining internal personal battles”. Also Read - Major Setback For Congress in Gujarat as 2 Party MLAs Resign Ahead of Rajya Sabha Polls
The Supreme Court had reinstated Verma on Tuesday with a condition that the high-powered selection committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will decide his fate in a week. Also Read - Fact Check: Pregnant Elephant Was NOT 'Fed' Cracker-Stuffed 'Pineapple' in Kerala's 'Malappuram', Maneka Gandhi Called Out For Communalising Animal's Death
The Congress claimed that Verma was removed without being given a chance to present his case, alleging that it showed that PM Modi was too afraid of an investigation, an apparent reference to its demand of a probe into the Rafale deal. Also Read - 'Nobody Will Use New Name': Twitter Slams Union Minister Prakash Javadekar's 'Historic' Priority to Rename Kolkata Port Amid COVID-19, Economic Crisis
“Sore loser Congress is licking its wounds after failing to subvert the CBI by joining internal personal battles. The only investigation pending is of ‘The Family’ that received bribes from ‘Mama Christian Michel’ in multiple defence deals. Lies of Rahul Gandhi completely exposed,” BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said.
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In a tweet, the BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP also added, “Shameless Congress lies again. Here are facts: 1) Shri Verma was given an opportunity to present his case before the CVC in presence of Justice Patnaik (retd), appointed by the Supreme Court. 2) Supreme Court also provided a copy of the CVC report to Verma’s advocate.”
Taking a dig at the Congress’ leader in Lok Sabha, Union minister Piyush Goyal tweeted: “Indeed, Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge is a man of amazing consistency. When Shri Alok Verma was appointed CBI chief by the selection committee, he dissented. Now, when Shri Alok Verma has been removed by the same Selection Committee, he has dissented.”
Nalin Kohli, BJP spokesperson and Supreme Court advocate, said the allegation of the Congress is not borne by facts.
Attacking the opposition party after its press conference targeting the prime minister, Kohli said, “It’s not the PM who is worried as the Congress is trying to falsely allege. It’s the Congress which is. Why else are they trying to discredit the CVC and it’s findings? Those who demolish institutions and continue to attack them should not give pretentious lessons to the PM or the BJP”.
In an unprecedented move, Verma was removed as the CBI director Thursday on the charges of corruption and dereliction of duties after a marathon meeting of the high-powered selection committee led by Prime Minister Modi, officials said.
There were eight counts of charges against Verma in the CVC report presented before the Committee also comprising Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Justice A K Sikri, appointed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi as his nominee.
The decision for the removal of 1979-batch IPS officer Verma was taken by a majority with Kharge opposing the move, they said.
Verma was sent on forced leave by the government in a late-night controversial order on October 23, 2018 in the wake of a feud between him and his deputy Special Director Rakesh Asthana which had intensified after Asthana was booked on corruption charges by the CBI on October 15, 2018.
He had challenged the order in the Supreme Court which had quashed the government order Tuesday and reinstated him with a condition that the high-powered selection committee will decide his fate in a week.
Verma had joined the office Wednesday after 77 days of forced leave set aside by the Supreme Court.
The apex court had said any further decision against Verma, who was scheduled to retire on January 31, would be taken by the high-powered committee which selects and appoints the CBI director.