The opposition on Wednesday attacked the Narendra Modi-led BJP government over the "removal" of CBI Director Alok Verma in the midst of a war at the top of the agency over bribery allegations.
"Modi government buries the last nail into the independence of CBI. Systematic dismantling and denigrating of CBI is now complete. Once a premier investigating agency, PM ensures that CBI's integrity, credibility and reliability is buried and dead.
"PM Modi seeks to achieve surreptitiously and clandestinely what he can't do directly to sack the CBI Director. Habitual and perpetual misuse of CBI by Modi government and BJP to tamper fair investigation of serious criminal cases is the reason for this unfathomable mess," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a series of tweets.
He further said that the Prime Minister had demonstrated "the true colour of his infamous Modi Made Gujarat Model by this cloak-and-dagger mugging of the CBI".
Surjewala questioned whether the CBI director was "sacked" for his keenness to probe the layers of "corruption in Rafale Scam".
"Isn't the rest a shoddy cover up? Let PM answer!" he said.
In a dramatic midnight action, the government on Wednesday divested CBI chief Alok Verma of his charge and Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao was asked to take over.
Aam Aadmi Party supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the authority of the government in taking this decision.
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"What are the reasons for sending CBI director on leave? Under which law did the Modi government get the authority to initiate action against the chief of an investigating agency appointed as per the Lokpal Act? What is the Modi government trying to hide?" he asked in a tweet.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury also took to Twitter to criticise the central government's decision and deemed it as "illegal".
"The illegal removal of CBI chief by the Modi government to protect their own handpicked officer, against whom serious charges of corruption are being investigated, points to attempts at a serious cover-up to protect his direct links to the BJP's top political leadership," he said.
"To ensure that the CBI is not a caged parrot, Supreme Court had granted protection to the Chief from government's whims and fancies by giving him a two-year tenure. What is Modi government trying to hide by its panic move? #BJPCorruption," he added.