Buoyed by Verma’s reinstatement, Congress targets Modi over Rafale

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New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) The Congress on Tuesday launched a frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal after the Supreme Court reinstated Alok Verma as the CBI Director.

Claiming that the apex court verdict had defeated Modi and his government’s “conspiracy” to stifle a probable probe into the alleged irregularities in the deal to buy the French fighter jets, the Congress demanded restoration of “3 months of Verma’s tenure” lost due to the Centre divesting him of all his powers in October.

Leading the attack, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said: “CBI chief (Verma) was removed because he wanted to start a probe into the Rafale (deal). Now we have some justice, lets see what happens.

“Nothing is going to save the Prime Minister from Rafale…nothing.

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“It is pretty clear that the Prime Minister has personally helped his crony get Rs 30 000 crore. I have a simple question, when Modi bypassed the Rafale deal, did the Indian Air Force, did the Defence Ministry raise an objection. I am expecting a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, the Defence Minister is not able to give it, neither the Prime Minister,” said Gandhi.

He also asserted that the country will surely get know how Modi helped his friend get Rs 30,000 of people’s money.

“The nation is going to 100 per cent know that Modi had taken Rs 30,000 crore of people’s money and given to his friend. Without a shadow of doubt, the nation will get to know this,” added Gandhi, who has repeatedly called the Rafale deal India’s “biggest defence scam”.

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Hailing the Supreme Court verdict, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala accused a “despotic” Modi of destroying the credibility and independence of constitutional and statutory organisations like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and others.

“Modi is the first Prime Minister, who in a despotic fashion killed the independence of the CBI so that it cannot probe corruption in the Rafale deal,” said Surjewala, calling the verdict a slap on Modi and the government’s decisions and policies.

Alleging that Verma was “conspiratorially” removed to stifle a probable probe into the Rafale deal, Surjewala asked Modi to apologize to the nation for trampling upon the independence of the CBI, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the RBI.

The party sought restoration of the three months of Verma’s tenure lost due to his “illegal removal”.

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“The verdict is a lesson for Modi and his government. If Modi has even a semblance of faith in the constitution and rule of law, then he should restore three months of Verma’s tenure.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi reinstated Verma as the CBI Director, setting aside the CVC and the Centre’s decision to divest him of his powers to function as the head of the investigating agency.

–IANS

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