Alok Verma takes the trophy for a CBI Director removed twice from functioning. He goes from infighting to fire fighting. The simple explanation for his reinstatement and transfer is that CJI Ranjan Gogoi had already made up his mind that Verma should go but due process ought to be followed. The complex explanation is that there are layers and layers to the leave-reinstatement-transfer theatrics, from infighting to blue-eyed boy to Rafale!
Verma can challenge his transfer. What’s the use, though? His tenure as CBI Director was already time-tenuous. The Supreme Court shifted the guillotine from court to 3-member selection committee: Prime Minister, CJI and Leader of Opposition. But to keep “honour intact” is every man’s right and the panel should have given Verma chance to state his case. The panel settled for the Chief Vigilance Commissioner’s damning report against Verma.
The CVC charged Verma with taking several missteps. The LOP did not concur and the Congress does not agree. It “Kharge-ed” Prime Minister Narendra Modi with being overly “anxious” to get rid of Verma because this “caged parrot” could pick up the ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ chant and parrot it to the world, much to the Prime Minister’s chagrin.
There was this canary going around singing the Rafale song, verses of which stung PM Modi and more parrots could start singing like a canary. In short, say those who criticize the removal and transfer of Verma, there is ‘dum’ in the Rafale-charge against Modi; that the whole Verma-saga has got to do with the morbid-Modi fear that Verma was set to open the Rafale can of worms when he was sent on leave.
In all the hullaballoo, the brouhaha is about whether Verma got a fair hearing or not? As always, in such narratives, opinion is divided and the jury is out. That, however, did not stop Twitter to tweet and caught in the online melee is neither PM Modi nor LOP Mallikarjun Kharge, but CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s stand-in, Justice AK Sikri, who got trolled and was called “Sanghi” and “Chaddi” and such dishonourable monikers.
It’s another matter that Justice Sikri concurred for CJI Ranjan Gogoi, who “recused” because he’s related to a prominent Congress leader. Speculation is every man’s right, so this speculation is also rife. The problem for the Congress is the devil is in the CVC details: Like, Alok Verma relied/reinstated “tainted CBI officers”.
The irony is that it was LOP Kharge who objected to Verma’s candidature for CBI Director’s post. But PM Modi insisted. It is vindication for Verma that Kharge came full-circle and Modi, too. Alok Verma did not let gratitude come in the way when “investigating government.” Usually, such-like feelings trump.
That being said, Verma did not have to fight for chamcha-status because a Modi-chamcha already existed in the CBI in the name of Rakesh Asthana, Special Director. The two – Alok Verma and Rakesh Asthana – were squabbling like tomcats when Modi took a hand and sent them on leave. The two took their fights to court – Verma to the Supreme Court and Asthana to the Delhi High Court.
The political fallout of Verma’s removal-reinstatement-transfer is bound to have its impact on general elections 2019. The NDA and UPA/MGB bases’ minds are made up. It will be the floating voter who will decide who goes down in history as honest Joe: Director Verma or PM Modi?
If there’s a Comey-Trump ring to La ‘affaire CBI, remember CBI is ‘FBI’ of India! And Comey wrote a tome on Trump to turn millionaire. Fire-fighter Verma can use the time given to him to book Modi between the covers of a bestseller ‘The Jet-Setting Prime Minister.’ It will be a knockout and then there is only to find an actor. Anybody who can help himself to a cup of tea will fit the cast.