‘Why Are Some States Afraid of the CBI?’ Asks PM Modi
While addressing party workers on the second day of BJP’s National Executive Meet in New Delhi on Saturday, 12 January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wondered out loud about the ‘fear’ some leaders have of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“What has happened to the CBI that leaders of several states are losing their sleep?” asked PM Modi.
“As you might have noticed, governments of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and now Chhattisgarh have put restrictions on the CBI. Officers of the CBI can’t go to these states and conduct investigations. Why is that? What are they afraid of? What has happened (in the CBI) that they are losing their sleep?” he asked.
The statement comes two days after the High-Powered Committee headed by PM Modi removed Alok Verma as the director of the CBI. He is the first CBI chief to be removed from the post in the agency’s 55-year history, and he was removed from the post after being reinstated by the Supreme Court. In his resignation that followed, Verma had said his exit was moment of “collective introspection”.
This decision invited severe criticism. On Thursday, Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge had given a dissent note against the decision. The Shiv Sena on Saturday termed the removal of Verma as a “panic reaction of the Narendra Modi government”. In an editorial in the party mouthpiece, Saamana, the Sena said the government has set “wrong precedents”.
Despite the criticism, while addressing party workers, Modi took on the UPA government for misusing the CBI and other central agencies.
“When I was the chief minister of Gujarat for 12 years, the Congress and the system running on its instructions tried to harass me… There was not a single agency under their government that didn’t trouble me,” he said.
He said despite the Congress’ agenda to trap him using the CBI, his government in Gujarat did not put any restrictions on the agency.
“Even we had power, we knew the law, and we could have done this (restrict the CBI). But we believe in the law,” he told a cheering audience.
He added those fear being exposed are attacking the institutions in the country.