The BJP today said Congress president Rahul Gandhi indulged in "petty politics" by taking sides in the row involving top CBI officers while Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonstrated statesmanship by acting against them to protect the agency's institutional integrity.
"Rahul Gandhi indulged in petty politics by taking sides while PM Narendra Modi demonstrated statesmanship by acting on warring officers to protect institutional integrity. Extreme situations require extraordinary measures," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said.
He was responding to a tweet by Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, who criticised the decision saying a CBI director's tenure is fixed for two years and the government cannot curtail it without a meeting of the selection committee.
The committee includes the chief justice of India, the prime minister and the leader of single largest opposition party.
Responding to Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala's attack on the government, Mr Rao said everyone knew why his party and Mr Gandhi have been taking sides and targeting officers probing cases involving leaders like P Chidambaram and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, and Mr Gandhi's "blue eyed boy" Vijay Mallya among others.
CBI special director Rakesh Asthana has been involved in investigation of many of these cases.
The Congress has projected him as a "blue-eyed" person of the prime minister's office.
With CBI Director Alok Verma and Asthana ievelling allegations against each other, the government Wednesday sent both of them on leave, divesting them of their powers.
"Government's timely action will ensure timely probes and no respite for the accused," Mr Rao tweeted.
Mr Surjewala had said "habitual and perpetual misuse of the CBI by the government and the BJP to tamper fair investigation of serious criminal cases is the reason for this unfathomable mess".