CBI war: CPI-M says government bent upon undermining democracy (Lead)

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New Delhi : The CPI-M on Tuesday blamed Modi governments bid to undermine the Indias democratic foundations for the CBIs "internal war" and alleged that Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana -- who has been booked for alleged corruption -- was pushed into the agency to subvert investigations against BJP leaders.

Taking to twitter, Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said Asthana "patronised by the BJP and handpicked by Modi", was pushed into our premier investigation agency despite opposition to his entry only to subvert ongoing investigations and stop all cases against BJP leaders.

"If this official (Asthana) is now caught 'fabricating' documents and taking bribes, should his political patrons in BJP not be asked tough questions too?" Yechury asked.

Observing that a number of "compromised officials with dubious records" have been inducted into top agencies under the Modi regime, Yechury said the role of top BJP leadership in "damaging and destroying" the country's institutions was unparalleled in India's history.

"That is not just due to poor governance. But it is due to malafide intention to target political opposition and save their own under investigation," he said.

"That the CBI is particularly under the spotlight should not surprise us.

"After all, it was the agency investigating the Bharatiya Janata Party President ( Amit Shah) for a very serious charge. No prizes for guessing how and why his name was 'cleared' under a dark cloud," said Yechury referring to Shah who was indicted for murder and arrested in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in July 2010.

Shah was subsequently discharged by a special CBI court in December 2014 months after the Modi-led BJP came to power at the Centre.

Later in a statement, the CPI-M said the recent happenings within the CBI reflected the degree of damage caused by Modi government to constitutional authorities and institution of parliamentary democracy.

"The undermining of Parliament itself, interference in the judiciary, manipulations of institutions like the CBI are not due to poor governance but due to malafide intentions to undermine the secular democratic foundations of the constitution," it said.

The RSS-BJP must be stopped from creating further damage to our country's constitutional order," said the party calling upon the people to build up resistance.

Asthana was brought to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2016 after the NDA came to power in 2014 and was tipped to head the agency.

Hailing from the Gujarat cadre, he had supervised the probe into the 2002 Godhra tragedy as Inspector General of Police, Vadodara range.

Asthana's elevation to the top post had evoked sharp reactions from the opposition following which he made way for Alok Verma.

The CBI on October 15 registered an FIR against Asthana and several others for allegedly accepting bribes to settle a case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, who is facing multiple cases of money laundering and corruption.

Published : Tuesday, October 23, 2018 19:30 [IST]
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