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Why Modi in Hurry to Get New CBI Director, Asks Congress

The former Union Minister also demanded restoration of "77 days" of Verma's tenure lost after he was divested of his power

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Raul Maino
Rahul Gandhi (Twitter)

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed high-powered select committee met to decide the fate of CBI Director Alok Verma, the Congress on Thursday alleged the BJP government, afraid of a probable probe into the “Rafale scam”, is in a “hurry” to find a successor to Verma.
The committee met following the Supreme Court reinstating Verma as the CBI Director who was divested of all his powers by the Modi government in October.

The panel comprising Modi, CJI nominee Justice A.K. Sikri and Leader of the single-largest party in the Lok Sabha, Congress’ Mallikarjuna Kharge, are scheduled to meet again later on Thursday.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who has been attacking Modi over the Rafale deal, fired fresh salvos at the Prime Minister over the meeting.

“Why is the Prime Minister in such a tearing hurry to sack the CBI chief? Why will he not allow the CBI chief to present his case in front of the selection committee? Answer: Rafale,” tweeted Gandhi, who post the apex court verdict had claimed that “the truth of Rafale will destroy Modi”.

Subsequently, in a media conference during the day, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma also questioned Modi’s “tearing hurry” to look for Verma’s successor and called for a probe into the circumstances leading to Verma’s divesting of powers as the CBI Director in October.

Why Modi in hurry to get new CBI Director, asks Congress. Wikimedia

“Despite the Supreme Court categorically stating that Verma’s removal was illegal, the Modi government is trying to brazen it out. An arrogant Prime Minister thinks he is neither accountable to Parliament nor to the law of the land.

“Why is there a panic in the government, what is the Prime Minister worried about, what is he doesn’t want the CBI to look into? Removal of Verma, raiding of CBI offices, removal of files, all that needs to be investigated.

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“The government can’t and will not probe the events of the night of October 23-24,” said Sharma, adding that an independent committee be constituted to probe all that.

“The Prime Minister is in a hurry and looking for a successor to Verma and give a message that though the Supreme Court has restored Verma, the Prime Minister will not allow him to function and will name a successor to make the CBI Director lame duck…that is the intent,” he claimed.

“The Chief Vigilance Commissioner, who ought to have resigned, will now recommend Verma’s successor to the high-powered panel. There will be no justice, a handpicked nominee of the Prime Minister will be put in office so that all the wrongdoings of this government are covered and a pliant Director, who will be obliged to the Prime Minister, will officiate,” added Sharma.

The former Union Minister also demanded restoration of “77 days” of Verma’s tenure lost after he was divested of his power. (IANS)

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As The Election Nears, India’s Opposition Promises Several Economic Steps

Modi said at the Delhi convention that the opposition was working on a "desperate alliance," while the BJP would give a "strong government."

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Rahul Gandhi, Election
Rahul Gandhi, president of India's main opposition Congress Party, speaks at a rally ahead of October's 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

India’s main opposition Congress Party will simplify the goods and services tax (GST) and make “rational economic decisions” to attract foreign investment if voted back to power in a general election due by May, leader Rahul Gandhi said Saturday.

Launched in 2017, the GST was initially hailed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest economic reform as it replaced more than a dozen federal and state levies and unified Asia’s third-largest economy.

But its chaotic implementation and complexities — months after a shock ban by Modi on high-value bank currency aimed at unearthing untaxed wealth — badly hurt small businesses and led to millions of job losses in the cash-driven economy, presenting the biggest challenge to Modi’s re-election chances.

India,India, elections, BJP
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents in New Delhi, India. VOA

 

Gandhi, scion of India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, said during a visit to Dubai that foreign investment was at a multiyear low in India because of the “ill-advised and badly thought out economic moves” such as the currency ban and a “poorly designed GST.”

Quick growth promised

“We will take some rational economic decisions,” he told a press conference, which was broadcast live on Twitter. “We will restructure the GST and we will embrace investments from the Middle East and other parts of the world. We are the party of [India’s economic] liberalization; we are the party that gave the fastest economic growth in the first decade of the century, and will do that again.”

He said his main priority would be to create jobs, simplify the GST, rebuild confidence in institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India — whose governor resigned recently after a fight over autonomy with the government, and the Supreme Court.

Modi, election
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, is garlanded by BJP leaders on the first day of the two-day Bharatiya Janata Party national convention in New Delhi, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

 

Four Supreme Court judges held a rare press conference early last year, saying that “unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country.”

Modi told a BJP convention in New Delhi on Saturday that for Congress “every institution was wrong and only they were right.”

The Congress press conference was organized by the Indian Overseas Congress, which is present in about 35 countries, as Gandhi tries to reach out to rich Indians living abroad for funds and social media support for the party that has dominated the country’s politics for decades before being nearly decimated in the last general election in 2014 by Modi.

But back home, Gandhi received a jolt when bitter rivals, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), announced an election tie-up without Congress in Uttar Pradesh state, which sends the highest number of lawmakers to the lower house of parliament.

Narendra Modi, India, election
Elaborate preparations for PM’s election rally. VOA

“The BSP and SP have made a political decision,” Gandhi said. “It’s on us on how to strengthen the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh and we will fight with our full capacity. Whether we do or their alliance does, the BJP is not winning there.”

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Modi said at the Delhi convention that the opposition was working on a “desperate alliance,” while the BJP would give a “strong government.”

The Hindu nationalist BJP lost power in three key states recently, forcing the government to announce a flurry of measures to woo small businesses and the less well-off since then. (VOA)