Govt in ‘tearing hurry’ to replace CBI Director: Anand Sharma

New Delhi: The central government intends to make CBI Director Alok Verma ineffective in order to hide their wrongdoings and is in a “tearing hurry” to replace him, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said on Thursday.

“The government is brazening it out, the Prime Minister is arrogant, he will never apologise for wrong deeds, he thinks he is not accountable either to the Parliament or to the law of the land. But after that, why is there panic in the government? What is the Prime Minister worried about? What is that he does not want the CBI to look into? There is something, the manner of removal, midnight raids, change of security agency from the CISF to the Delhi Police, the CVC personally going there at midnight; that has to be investigated”, Sharma said while addressing the media.

“It is clear that the Prime Minister is in a tearing hurry pushing the high-level committee that he chairs, to look for a successor, giving the message that although the Supreme Court has restored the CBI Director to his position, he will not be allowed to function, they will appoint his successor to make him ineffective,” the former Union Minister of Commerce and Industry added.

He further alleged that the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), “who should have resigned” and has “no moral right to stay in office”, will be used as a “tool” to fulfil the government’s wishes. Sharma said that a “handpicked” nominee of the Prime Minister, “who himself in his last days in office”, will be put in office in order to cover the wrongdoings of the current government.

On the intervening night of October 23 and 24 last year, the central government had sent Verma, along with Special Director Rakesh Asthana, on forced leave in the wake of their bitter fight. Verma had challenged the government’s order in the Supreme Court, which, on Tuesday, directed that he be reinstated as the CBI chief but barred him from taking any major policy decisions.

Sharma said that the CBI Director was “abruptly” and “illegally” transferred, based on recommendations made by the CVC, which he claimed has “no authority to transfer or remove the CBI Director under law”.
He further called for the current Director serving his full tenure, including the 77 days “illegally stolen” from him and for sharing of the CVC report among all members of the high-level committee, particularly Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha.

Mounting an assault on the Prime Minister over the alleged wrongdoings in the controversial Rafale deal, Sharma said that the Prime Minister “runs away from the Parliament” when the issue is raised.

“Why does he (Prime Minister) run away from the Parliament. He is visible everywhere, but when we
raised the issues in the Rajya Sabha they did not allow (for a debate), despite saying that the government is ready for a debate. We would have put him in the corner where he belongs and forced the government to ferret out the information which they are hiding,” Sharma said.

He also said that neither Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman nor Finance Minister Arun Jaitley can speak on the subject as they were not there when the Prime Minister met with then French President Francois Hollande.

“The Prime Minister has not yet contradicted what the then French President said until today, because he knows he cannot. That is why he is avoiding coming to the Parliament,” Sharma said.