New Delhi, January 4: The key strategists in the Congress Party are desperately trying their best to unseat this cop from the CBI top job. Outgoing Chief Justice of India TS Thakur too opposed him.
But the cop who is in the eye of the storm of the entire opposition has recharged India's premier anti-corruption agency- the CBI. In the past 20 days, the 1984 batch IPS from Gujarat Rakesh Asthana has registered 32 cases against senior bank officials post demonetisation. Three RBI officials who diverted the huge amount of currency from the Bank chest to private hands are now under Asthana’s lens.
The day he took the interim charge of CBI, he summoned the officials handling the AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper scam investigation. He grilled his subordinates for being lax and developing a cold feet in arresting the key accused and former Air force chief SP Tyagi.
Within next 24 hours, Tyagi was in CBI’s interrogation room where former Air Chief Marshal revealed the names of Delhi’s big dealers and wheelers involved in the scam. Asthana is now gearing up his team to drop the net on kingpin who plotted the entry of the Italian company in the South Block.
“Asthana is my batchmate in the police service. I know he is intelligent and daring when it comes to catching the big fish. When Lalu Yadav was on the verge of being let off in the fodder scam, it was Asthana who grilled him and sealed Yadav’s political fate,” said a colleague of Asthana. In fact, CBI which has been in news for wrong reasons for the last couple of years due to its tainted or inactive Directors seems to be discovering its original tracks under the leadership of Asthana.
However, for an upright top cop, his close relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi appear to be more problematic rather than being a plus point for elevation as a CBI Director. Asthana who served in Gujarat under Modi’s Chief Ministership is considered to be PM’s favourite officer. Congress leader Mallikarjun Khadge has already opposed Asthana’s appointment as an interim Director. Khadge is one among the three member panel which had to select the new Director. The other two members are the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.
The Ministry of Personnel which coordinates with the panel for selection of the Director CBI might redraft the list of probable. The 1984 batch IPS officers could be empanelled by Home Ministry to qualify for the selection. In the present list 1984 batch officers were not eligible for the post of the Director.
So the new move would certainly be a much sought after decision by the government for Asthana. Anyway, at the CBI headquarters the staff is now awaiting a new boss as Anil Sinha retired from the hot seat last month. “We need a man of integrity because Director like Ranjit Sinha have given our agency a bad name. We definitely deserve some one better than Ranjit and bolder then Anil,” said a DYsP of the CBI.