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Modi’s handpicked CBI officer caught red-handed: Sitaram Yechury on Asthana



Sitaram Yechury

New Delhi, Oct 23: CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose “hand-picked” Special CBI Director Rakesh Asthana was “caught red-handed” he said, as the probe agency registered a graft case against one of its own.

“The official 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.

“He has now been caught red-handed,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary tweeted.

“Who patronised this official (Asthana) in his career? Who handpicked him for CBI despite strong opposition by the Director? If this official is now caught “fabricating” documents and taking bribes, should his political patrons in BJP not be asked tough questions too? What is their role,” Yechury asked.

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.

He further said a number of “compromised officials with dubious records” have been inducted into top agencies under the Modi regime.

“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,” he added.

The Left leader said the role of top BJP leadership in “damaging and destroying” the country’s institutions was unparalleled in India’s history.

“This is needed to further the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s unconstitutional agenda.

“Their nefarious designs have to be, and will be defeated,” he said.

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.



Jammu and Kashmir Assembly dissolved: Congress attacks PM




Jaipur, Nov 22: The Congress on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using Governor Satya Pal Malik to dissolve the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly “illegally and unconstitutionally”.

“We strongly condemn the way the Governor illegally and unconstitutionally dissolved the Assembly.

“The Governor has toyed with the Constitution and it was done at the behest of the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO),” Congress leader Manish Tewari told the media here.

The former Union Minister questioned as to why Malik did not dissolve the House in the last six months after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in June withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) coalition government.

“For the last five-six months, the BJP tried its best to garner support by indulging in horse trading. But when its conspiracy failed to yield any result, it got the Governor to dissolve the Assembly just after the PDP, National Conference and the Congress staked claim to form the government,” Tewari said.

Earlier in the day former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also targeted Malik saying parliamentary democracy was “outdated” for the BJP-appointed Governor.

“As long as no one staked a claim to form government, Jammu and Kashmir Governor was happy to keep the Assembly under suspension. The moment someone staked a claim, he dissolved the Assembly. Parliamentary democracy standing on its head.

“The Westminster model of democracy is outdated. Like in all other matters, it is the Gujarat model that has appealed to the J&K Governor,” Chidambaram tweeted.

The party also ridiculed the Governor’s defence on Wednesday, when he maintained that “the grand alliance” of PDP, National Conference and Congress was an “opportunistic” one.

“It is unfortunate that the Governor is talking more like a BJP spokesperson than a governor. We strongly condemn his action and demand that elections are held at the earliest for the sake of democracy,” said party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

In a dramatic development, Malik late on Wednesday dissolved the Assembly after the three parties staked claim to form the government which was followed by People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone making a rival claim to power with the backing of BJP and rebel PDP MLAs.


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Sovan Chatterjee resigns as Kolkata Mayor



Kolkata, Nov 22: TMC leader Sovan Chatterjee on Thursday resigned from the post of Kolkata Mayor.

This comes two days after, Chatterjee has stepped down as West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services and Housing minister.

“He has sent his resignation through a representative,” Kolkata Municipal Corporation Chairperson Mala Roy told reporters here.

On being asked about the reasons cited by Chatterjee for his resignation, she refused to make any comment.

“The (Trinamool Congress) party will decide the next course of actions. A detailed information on the future course of action will be announced after the councillors’ meeting to be held in the evening,” she said.


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I take back my comment, says Ram Madhav after Omar Abdullah’s dare



New Delhi, Nov 22: The Bharatiya Janata Party witnessed a major embarrassment, after its Jammu and Kashmir in charge Ram Madhav was forced to take back his statement following National Conference leader Omar Abdullah’s dare to prove the allegation.

“Now that u deny any external pressure I take back my comment, but, now that u proved it was genuine love between NC n PDP that prompted a failed govt formation attempt,u shud fight next elections Together. Mind u it’s a political comment, not personal”, Madhav Tweeted.

Abdullah has challenged Madhav saying you have RAW, NIA and IB at your command (CBI too is your parrot) so have the guts to place evidence in the public domain. Either prove this or be man enough to apologise.

“Don’t practice shoot scoot politics, he added.

Earlier in a day, the BJP Chief said that PDP and NC boycotted local body polls last month because they had instructions from across the border. Probably they had fresh instructions from across the border to come together & form govt. What they did prompted the governor to look into the whole issue.


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