Rahul targets PM Modi for rift within CBI

The institution is in terminal decline under Mr. Modi’s watch, says the Congress president

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the internal feud within the country’s premier investigative agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and described it as institution that “is at war with itself”.

The Congress chief said the agency is now in a state of “terminal decline and has become a weapon of political vendetta” under Mr. Modi’s watch.

“The PM’s blue-eyed boy, Gujarat cadre officer, of Godra SIT fame, infiltrated as No. 2 into the CBI, has now been caught taking bribes. Under this PM, the CBI is a weapon of political vendetta. An institution in terminal decline that’s at war with itself,” said Mr. Gandhi on Twitter.

On Sunday, The Hindu had reported that the CBI had named its No. 2 officer, Rakesh Asthana, a Gujarat-cadre officer, in a bribery case of over ₹3 crores.

Apart from two private individuals, the CBI has named Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar and Mr. Asthana in a bribery case relates to an on-going investigation against meat exporter Moin Qureshi and others.

The move is also seen as an ugly turf war between the agency’s top man, CBI Director Alok Verma and Mr. Asthana.

Before the FIR, Mr. Asthana had complained to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), accusing the CBI Director of trying to interfere in a corruption case involving family members of RJD leader Lalu Prasad.

The agency, in an official press release, countered these claims and had mentioned that Mr. Asthana himself was the subject of several investigations.

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