MODI AND ASTHANA VIE FOR CBI TOP POST

The Free Press Journal - - NATION -

Hunt has be­gun for the next di­rec­tor of the Cen­tral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI) fall­ing va­cant with the re­tire­ment of Alok Verma in Jan­uary and among the front-run­ners is Y C Modi, a 1984-batch As­sam & Meg­nalaya cadre IPS of­fi­cer.

He is way ahead of other con­tenders for the top post con­sid­er­ing his prox­im­ity to both Prime Min­is­ter Modi and BJP Pres­i­dent Amit Shah.

There, how­ever, may be a tus­sle be­tween this Modi and his Gu­jarat cadre batch­mate Rakesh Asthana, the No 2 in the CBI as the spe­cial di­rec­tor hav­ing a run­ning bat­tle with Verma who in­sti­tuted in­quiry into his six al­leged cor­rup­tion cases in what is per­ceived as an at­tempt to pre­vent his el­e­va­tion.

Whether Modi or Asthana makes it is a guess­ing game in the IPS cir­cles as both are said to have di­rect con­tact with Prime Min­is­ter Modi. Asthana has been work­ing as a sort of in­ter­face be­tween the CBI and the Prime Min­is­ter's Of­fice (PMO) over­step­ping Verma many a times.

Y C Modi was ap­pointed the di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) in Septem­ber last year amid the al­le­ga­tions by the civil rights group that he was brought in the agency to di­lute the cases with it in­volv­ing the saf­fron ter­ror­ists.

He was brought to Delhi on cen­tral dep­u­ta­tion since May 2014 when the BJP formed the gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre. He was made an ad­di­tional di­rec­tor in CBI in July 2015 and served there for over two years be­fore shift­ing to NIA.

Y C Modi was part of the Supreme Court-ap­pointed spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team (SIT) that probed the 2002 Gu­jarat ri­ots and gave a clean chit to aren­dra Modi in the Gul­barga So­ci­ety mas­sacre of 69 peo­ple, in­clud­ing a former MP.

The process of se­lec­tion of the new CBI chief be­gan with the De­part­ment of Per­son­nel and Tain­ing (DoPT) writ­ing to the Home Min­istry to sug­gest the names of the el­i­gi­ble IPS of­fi­cers. The Prime Min­is­ter re­mains the fi­nal author­ity to se­lect the best can­di­date on the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Cen­tral Vig­i­lance Com­mis­sion.

Those in the fray in­clude CISF chief Ra­jesh Ran­jan, Bharat Scouts and Guides chief Ra­jnikant Mishra, Delhi Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Amulya Pat­naik and Ut­tar Pradesh Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice O P Singh.

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