Barely moments after Alok Verma, a 1979-batch AGMUT-cadre IPS officer, was shunted out as the CBI chief, the Congress took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the decision to sack Verma without giving him the chance to present his case shows that the PM is too afraid of an investigation. Verma has been removed as the CBI director following a marathon meeting of the high-powered selection committee under Prime Minister Modi on Thursday evening. He is the first CBI chief to face such vicious action and has been charged with corruption and dereliction of duty.
Taking to Twitter, the Congress wrote, "By removing Alok Verma from his position without giving him the chance to present his case, PM Modi has shown once again that he's too afraid of an investigation, either by an independent CBI director or by Parliament via JPC".
By removing #AlokVerma from his position without giving him the chance to present his case, PM Modi has shown once again that he's too afraid of an investigation, either by an independent CBI director or by Parliament via JPC.— Congress (@INCIndia) January 10, 2019
"Somehow, the prime minister had a compulsion to remove CBI director Alok Verma and was in a tearing hurry to look for his succesor," Anand sharma, the deputy leader of opposition Rajya Sabha was quoted while addressing a press conference in New Delhi.
"What is PM Modi worried about? What does he not want the CBI to look into? The manner in which the CBI chief was removed abruptly at midnight should be investigated," Sharma claimed.
Mallikarjun Kharge, the Congress leader in Lok Sabha had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi while giving a dissent note second time on Verma's ouster. Despite that Verma was shunted out of the CBI on Thursday, the senior Congress spokesperson added.
At the meeting of the panel this evening, Kharge, who in 2017 had opposed Mr Verma's appointment, contended that he should be restored to "ensure independence and neutrality of CBI, to restore normalcy", according to sources. The Congress leader also pitched for an "independent investigation" into Verma's removal from the high-profile post.
Reacting strong to the Verma's ouster, Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said, "There is something murky going on which needs to be investigated, the Congress party has already objected to it. Something very suspicious about all this".
"Hurried decision shows desperation level to ensure he gets out of the way as he was going to probe Rafale scam. In his dissent note,he(Kharge) has mentioned the loopholes in the manner in which constitutional norms were bypassed by Govt," Congress national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said.
On October 23, 2018, Verma, in a late-night controversial order, was sent on a forced leave by the government of India. The unprecedented decision came in the wake of a feud between him and his deputy Special Director Rakesh Asthana. Post that, Verma challenged the order in the Supreme Court which had set aside his forced leave by the government but restrained him from taking any major policy decision.
Hailing the Supreme Court’s verdict on Verma’s plea, Congress said, "Today’s SC verdict proves that democracy and justice will always triumph". "When PM Modi illegally removed CBI Director Alok Verma from his position he insulted both the Constitution of India & the Indian people," it added.
Verma, who is scheduled to retire on January 31, has been posted as the Director General Fire Services.