MODI AND ASTHANA VIE FOR CBI TOP POST
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.