Centrally Splitting

October 30 2018

The serious internal feud between Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana in the country’s premier investigation agency, CBI, is rocking the political firmament, with the very government split down the middle. While Asthana has the backing of the PM and big guns like Arun Jaitley, NSA Ajit Doval, Hasmukh Adhia and some senior CBI officials, Verma is being supported by Rajnath Singh, former ED Karnail Singh, the all powerful Principal Secretary in the PMO, Nripendra Misra, Subramanian Swamy and others. What is scary is that Modi’s shadow himself party boss Amit Shah is willy-nilly supporting Verma. The PMO could see the signs of this trouble growing, especially when the request was made for the arrest of Asthana and the file was sent to the Department of Personnel. That was a rude wake-up call for the government. It is learnt that earlier the PMO had summoned the two officers and asked them to douse the flames, but it did not work. Lots of file work continued on both sides. Interestingly, of the 13 officials shunted from the HQ, 12 belong to the Verma group. Shockingly, the letter to Asthana says that even during this leave, he will be entitled to travel and other allowances, but Verma’s letter does not say so. It is evident that the Supreme Court will issue some stern orders, but may be more, that in the coming days the CBI may have to function under SC’s supervision.

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