CBI director row: Jethmalani slams party's move

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 24, 2012 14:36 hrs

Adding more embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), senior party leader and legal luminary Ram Jethmalani on Saturday slammed India's main opposition for attacking the Centre over the appointment of new Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Ranjit Sinha.

In a letter to party president Nitin Gadkari, Jethmalani said: "I was astonished to read that the BJP has attacked the Prime Minister and the Congress party for what the party calls the fast tracked appointment of Mr. Ranjit Sinha as the Director of the CBI."

The copies of his letter were marked to the Prime Minister and the media, reports said.

Jethmalani said: "I regret that this criticism is a result of complete ignorance of relevant facts and has been instigated by a most undesirable rival who had to withdraw his petition before the CAT yesterday as a result of the appointment."

He even praised the government and its action on the matter ´for a change, has averted national calamity´.

The leaders of Opposition of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitely, had written to the Prime Minister earlier on Friday, asking him to put in abeyance the appointment of new CBI Director Ranjit Sinha.

The BJP leaders had accused the government of trying to trample the recommendations of a Parliamentary panel on the Lokpal bill to select the CBI director.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, however, rejected the demand by the BJP to hold in abeyance the appointment of the new CBI chief.

In a letter written to Jaitley on the issue, Singh said the federal investigating agency could not be kept without a head pending the enactment of the long-delayed anti-graft Lokpal Bill and "the question of keeping the new appointment in abeyance does not arise".

The PM also said that "insinuation that the appointment was made to preempt the procedure recommended by the Select Committee is wholly unwarranted and devoid of any merit."

"I also refute the suggestion that the appointments to this post in the past by the UPA Government were motivated by collateral considerations," he said.

Earlier this month, Jethmalani revolted openly against the party leadership saying Gadkari must step down as the president of the outfit till a probe into the corruption charges against him cleared him.

At a press conference he also had claimed that other senior leaders like Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha shared his views on Gadkari´s removal.

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