News18 Daybreak | Meeting of High-Power Committee on CBI Chief Selection Remains Inconclusive and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

Jan 25, 03:47 AM

Meeting of high-power committee on CBI chief selection remains inconclusive

The high-power committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on Thursday but could not decide on who would take up the mantle of CBI director. Reports have said that the committee went over dozens of names with the Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi insisting on getting a detailed background information of the officers.

Details: The hunt for a new CBI chief began after former director Alok Verma was divested of his powers by a committee that consisted of Prime Minister Modi, Mallikarjun Kharge and CJI nominated Justice A.K. Sikri. The opposition leader had been the only dissenting member in the committee and had said that the Central Vigilance Committee report, based on which the decision was taken, lacked “substantial findings”.

The feud that was: Crisis struck the CBI ranks after Alok Verma and the former deputy director Rakesh Asthana accused each other of bribery. Soon after, Verma was unceremoniously removed from the position and was named as the Director General of Fire Services, a post he refused.

Meanwhile, the Centre also decided to oust Rakesh Asthana as the deputy and handed the Gujarat IPS-cadre a less significant portfolio.

Why it matters: Critics have said that the Centre’s role in the developments have undermined the autonomy of the intelligence agency with Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan accusing the government of taking these measures “to stop a probe into the Rafale deal at any cost”. (During his time as CBI chief, Verma, had initiated a probe into the controversial Rafale deal.)

Sources say Modi to contest from Varanasi as Rahul hops to Odisha on campaign trail

Top sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party have said that Prime Minister Modi will be contesting from Varanasi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and a second constituency will be decided by the BJP parliamentary board, which consists of national president Amit Shah, national general secretary Shri Ramlal and Union Ministers belonging to the party.

Many say however that it is possible that the Prime Minister is fielded from a constituency in Bengal or Odisha as the party is looking to expand in the two states. In the 2014 general elections Modi had contested from Vadodara and Varanasi.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi will be addressing a rally in Bhubaneshwar, where he is scheduled to hold a public meeting. The Congress president will also meet farmers, civil society members, officials of HAL and intellectuals.

President Kovind to address the nation on Republic Day eve as chief guest South African president arrives for two-day visit

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will address the nation today on the eve of the 70th Republic Day. The chief guest at the Rajpath parade, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has begun his two-day visit in India. Ramaphosa is accompanied by First Lady, and a high-level delegation.

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