In the ongoing CBI feud, the Lutyens’ media has found a new concoction to misguide the general public. The rift between special director of the organisation Rakesh Asthana and its Director Alok Verma had been reported widely in the media. It dates back to October 2017, when Verma, during a meeting of the five-member CVC, objected to Asthana’s promotion as special director. Alok Verma believed that Asthana had scuttled induction of officers recommended by him. He also alleged that CBI had come across Asthana’s role in the Sterling Biotech case. However, Asthana was given a clean chit by the Supreme Court and he was also promoted.
A decision was taken to send the two warring officers on leave following a meeting of the Central Vigilance Commission, which governs the CBI. Soon the elitist sections of the media saw an opportunity and started trying to create an anti-Modi narrative out of the feud within the top investigative agency. The news traders catering to the leftist liberal side of the political spectrum in India have now started alleging that Alok Verma has been removed from office only because he was going to carry out a probe into the Rafale deal. First, the likes of Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal started peddling the narrative that Verma was removed only because the removed CBI director was set to carry out an investigation into the Rafale deal. These political elements which had been earlier trying to allege a make believe scam out of the Rafale deal started connecting the CBI feud with the deal without any evidence. Soon after this, the Lutyens’ media followed it up and started pushing the narrative further. Without anything to back their claims, they started connecting the two issues.
The Wire published a piece in which it was claimed that Alok Verma’s interest in the Rafale deal was likely apprehend by prime minister Modi and this led to his removal. This was based on conjectures and surmises but that is all the media needs in order to push a narrative against the BJP and Prime Minister Modi. Abhisar Sharma, another leftist liberal journalist alleged that the Modi government staged Verma’s removal due to the ‘secret’. It has also been claimed that whatever was happening in the CBI created ripples and that challenging times lie ahead for the CBI.
— Abhisar Sharma (@abhisar_sharma) October 24, 2018
Another journalist, Rahul Kanwal pushed this narrative further and claimed that sources which are close to Alok Verma said that he was about to order a preliminary inquiry into charges in the Rafale deal. They believe this is part of the reason a midnight coup was initiated against him.
Alok Verma’s interest in the Rafale deal was likely seen by @narendramodi as a dangerous shot across the bow and seems to have been the key trigger for his removal. https://t.co/9PXsZ918r7 | @bainjal writes.
— The Wire (@thewire_in) October 24, 2018
Sources close to Alok Verma say he was about to order a preliminary inquiry into charges in the Rafale deal. They believe this is part of the reason a mid-night coup was initiated against him.
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) October 24, 2018
However, these are just airy claims about the Rafale deal and the removal of the CBI director. There was no investigation or indications of such investigation into the Rafale deal. The Supreme Court had merely asked the Centre to provide details of the decision making process in the Rafale deal with France in a sealed cover by October 29 but clarified that it does not want information on pricing and technical particulars. It had not ordered a probe into the matter and no probe could have possibly been initiated in vacuum. It is now clear that the news traders were only making fake allegations and concoctions in order to tarnish the image of the Modi government.