NEW DELHI — Amid a row over the ouster of CBI director Alok Verma, Congress Sunday sought “immediate removal” of the chief vigilance commissioner, alleging the government had made him act like a “puppet” to “escape a probe” into the Rafale deal.
There was no immediate reaction from the Central Vigilance Commission or the government on the charge.
“We seek the removal, the departure, the exit of the collaborator for violating the Constitution ― the CVC (chief vigilance commissioner). He must go. It is irrelevant whether he resigns or is sacked, but he must go,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said at a press conference at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi.
The Congress alleged that CVC KV Chowdary is being made to “act like a puppet” to avoid any probe into the Rafale case.
“Till now, we have been told that only the CBI was the ‘caged parrot’ but we are now seeing a new ‘vigilant’ slave of the government, a collaborator for violating the constitution of the Central Vigilance Commission,” the Congress spokesperson alleged, taking a swipe at the Modi government.
Verma was Thursday removed unceremoniously as the CBI director after a high-powered panel led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi found that he had not been functioning with integrity expected of him.
“The CVC has been acting like an ambassador for Asthana (CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana), lobbying for Asthana, and acting as an agent and messenger for the government, to do their hatchet jobs,” Singhvi alleged.
The vigilance commissioner has forgotten that he is supposed to do vigilance for public interest, and not be a “vigilant puppet in the hands of political masters”, he said.
The senior Congress leader said, he was putting forth the views of his party, based on “objectives facts” that has emerged in the press in connection with the CBI controversy.
These facts are in the public domain and “viable”, he said, claiming these “can’t be denied nor have been denied”.
“The data and facts in writing demand an immediate action and that action must start with the removal and sacking of the CVC. The sequence of events indicate that the CVC acted like a hatchet man of the government,” Singhvi alleged.
Now, the question arises as to why the commissioner acted like this and “at whose behest” he was doing it, he asked.
“The answer is self-evident, and none except the top two people in this country, who rule this country dictatorially, can claim the power to treat and make the CVC act like a puppet. These master puppeteers can be doing this to hide something, to hide something like Rafale,” Singhvi alleged.
The government has repeatedly denied all charges levelled by the Congress in connection with the Rafale deal.
“Only Rafale (issue) can make them try to make the CVC act like a puppet,” he alleged.
Singhvi on Saturday had alleged that the government stood exposed after Justice (retired) A K Patnaik claimed that he had not seen the commission’s recommendations against Verma and not accorded his assent.
He said the selection committee removed Verma based on Asthana’s charges, whose plea to quash the FIR against him was dismissed by the Delhi High Court.
The senior Congress leader Sunday claimed that one of the “objective facts” that has emerged in public domain is that “Verma had written in great details that the CVC was backing entirely for Asthana”.
The CVC has forgotten that he has to be “vigilant for public interest, for the nation and not for Asthana or his masters”, Singhvi said.
“It is clear that to escape any probe into the Rafale case, they made the CVC into a puppet (Rafale ke jaanch se bachne ke liye chowkidar ne CVC ko kathputli bana diya),” he alleged.
He said if the prime minister or his government has even an “iota of shame” left, then the CVC should be sacked, removed or tender his resignation.
“In Ramlila Maidan (event), Modi spoke about lofty ideas and truthfulness. Maryada Puroshottam Ram is a symbol of truthfulness. If Modi doesn’t remove the CVC, his complete truth and lie will come in front of the public,” he said.
Singhvi alleged that the shoulder of the CVC was “first lent by the CVC, happily and willingly, and then used by the government to fire bullets.”