File photo of Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Photograph:( ANI )
CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana have been 'divested of all powers' amid an ongoing spat between them. Both have accused the other of corruption.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of removing CBI Director Alok Verma in a bid to stop him from investigating the Rafale "scam".
He also alleged that the prime minister "broke the law" and "bypassed" the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition, who were part of the panel that selected the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief.
There was no immediate reaction from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on the allegations.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has, however, dismissed as "rubbish" the allegations that Verma was removed because he wanted to look into the Rafale fighter jet deal.
He said the government's decision to remove Verma and CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana was based on the Central Vigilance Commission's (CVC) recommendations.
Gandhi also alleged that Verma was forcibly sent on leave as he was collecting documents relating to the Rafale "scam".
Verma and Asthana have been "divested of all powers" amid an ongoing spat between them.
"PM removed the CBI Director to stop him from investigating Rafale. Mr 56 broke the law when he bypassed CJI and LOP.
"Mr Modi, Rafale is a deadly aircraft with a superb radar. You can run, but you can't hide from It," Gandhi said in a tweet.
PM removed the CBI Director to stop him from investigating Rafale.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 24, 2018
Mr 56 broke the law when he bypassed CJI & LOP.
Mr Modi, Rafale is a deadly aircraft with a superb radar. You can run, but you can't hide from It.
Earlier, he tweeted, "CBI Chief Alok Verma was collecting documents relating to the Rafale scam. He was forcibly sent on leave."
"The Prime Minister's message is very clear that whoever comes near Rafale (issue) will be removed, wiped out," the Congress chief charged.
The country and the Constitution were in danger, he claimed.
CBI चीफ आलोक वर्मा राफेल घोटाले के कागजात इकट्ठा कर रहे थे। उन्हें जबरदस्ती छुट्टी पर भेज दिया गया।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 24, 2018
प्रधानमंत्री का मैसेज एकदम साफ है जो भी राफेल के इर्द गिर्द आएगा- हटा दिया जाएगा, मिटा दिया जाएगा।
देश और संविधान खतरे में हैं।
Addressing a poll rally at Jhalawar in Rajasthan, Gandhi targeted the prime minister on the CBI row, alleging that Verma was removed because the agency was raising questions over the Rafale fighter jet deal.
"The CBI director was removed last night because the agency was raising questions over Rafale," Gandhi alleged.
The Congress has been alleging massive irregularities in the Rafale deal.
The government has vehemently rejected all allegations.