The more things change the more they stay the same.

On Tuesday, Arvind Kejriwal gave an impassioned press conference attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Central Bureau of Investigation raids against him earlier in the day. An angry Kejriwal said that the raids had nothing to do with corruption allegations against his principal secretary, and instead were a politically motivated act aimed at sending a message to the Delhi government.

Towards the end of the the conference, Kejriwal looked up and, wagging his finger, spoke directly to Modi. "Let me tell you Modiji, you have scared others with the CBI, but Kejriwal is not afraid, you don't know of what soil I'm made. Until my last breath, I'll die for the country... but I am not afraid."

That doesn't sound all that different from words Modi used when talking about the CBI, speaking in Gandhinagar in 2013.


"I want to assure all of you," Modi said, wagging his finger just like Kejriwal. "I am not one of those who is afraid of the CBI."

Earlier in the day, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu made an assertion that his party members might have found odd if he had said it just two years prior.

"CBI is an independent organisation," Naidu said, after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that morning that a CBI raid on his office was directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "The government does not interfere at all. How can you criticize the central government and the prime minister?"

Criticism of the CBI for pursuing political aims should not be new to the Bharatiya Janata Party, considering it was one of the stock talking points used in the entire run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. Modi himself often spoke up about the agency being used for electoral outcomes rather than actual investigations, calling it the 'Congress Bureau of Investigation' on numerous occasions.

The Supreme Court also described it as a "caged parrot" in 2013, bemoaning its lack of autonomy. This was followed by a few reforms that added more functional autonomy to its operations, although the agency continues to be looked at as an arm of the Centre.

Naidu, of course, is well aware of this and so felt the need to clarify his statement about the CBI being independent. "It has become fashionable from the Delhi chief minister to quarrel with central government and take PM's name for everything," he said. "CBI does not function under the government. Gone are days of Congress when CBI used to be misused."