- Alok Verma's sacking shows PM "a prisoner of his own lies": Rahul Gandhi
- Committee chaired by PM Modi removed him as CBI chief
- Justice AK Sikri and Mallikarjun Kharge also part of the committee
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the removal of CBI chief Alok Verma, just 48 hours after he was reinstated by the Supreme Court. Calling PM Modi a "prisoner of his own lies", the Congress president said there was fear in the PM's mind over the alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal.
"Fear is now rampaging through Mr Modi's mind. He can't sleep. He stole 30,000 Cr from the IAF and gave it to Anil Ambani. Sacking the CBI Chief #AlokVerma twice in a row, clearly shows that he is now a prisoner of his own lies. Satyamev Jayate," Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Thursday evening.
Alok Verma was removed as CBI chief in a 2-1 decision by a high-powered committee chaired by PM Modi, which also included Supreme Court judge, Justice AK Sikri, and Congress's Mallikarjun Kharge, who is the leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha. While Justice Sikri sided with the government on the removal, Mr Kharge submitted a note of dissent.
The PM-led panel based its decision after detailed discussions on a CVC report on the allegations against Mr Verma. The dissent note sent by Mallikarjun Kharge, which summarises the report, however, says it did not find any evidence to substantiate the main allegations against Mr Verma.
Rahul Gandhi alleges that Alok Verma was removed by the government in a midnight coup at the CBI office back in October because he was going to start an inquiry into the Rafale deal.
The Congress and other opposition parties allege that the government went for a less-than-lucrative deal for 36 Rafale jets with France's Dassault so that Anil Ambani's inexperienced defence company could snag an offset contract with Dassault.
The offset clause means that in exchange for the contract, Dassault has to invest half the value of the deal -- about Rs. 30,000 crore -- in Indian firms. Reliance Defence was chosen as one of those "offset" partners and is to manufacture plane parts - though not for the 36 jets ordered by India.
Disclaimer: NDTV has been sued for 10,000 crores by Anil Ambani's Reliance Group for its coverage of the Rafale deal