Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday praised the Supreme Court for its verdict quashing the Centre’s decision to divest Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma of his responsibilities and send him on leave.
Gandhi claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration had sent Verma on leave just before he was scheduled to investigate alleged irregularities in the Rafale jet deal.
“The CBI chief was ousted at 1 am in the night because he was about to begin a probe into the Rafale deal,” Gandhi said. “The CBI chief has been reinstated and we have got some relief. Now let’s see what happens.”
The Congress leader said no one can save Modi from an investigation into the Rafale deal now. “The truth of Rafale will destroy Mr Modi,” Gandhi tweeted. “It is only a question of time before full evidence of his role in the theft of [Rs] 30,000 crore becomes public.”
The Congress has accused the Centre of signing an overpriced deal and helping Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence, which had no prior experience in the sector before landing a contract with Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of the fighter jets.
The Opposition party’s leader said the prime minister should have agreed to the debate that he had challenged him to. “Modi ji ran away from a debate,” Gandhi told reporters. “He should have discussed the Rafale matter with us in the people’s court.”
The Congress welcomed the court’s decision and said this was the first instance of the top court setting aside a prime minister’s “illegal orders”.
Earlier on Tuesday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended the government’s decision to send Verma on leave.