New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday charged that growing phobia of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi within Congress was behind the CBI move to question Intelligence Bureau in the Ishrat Jahan case and said such 'misuse' of government institutions for political purposes will destroy them.
"The cost of Modi-phobia will now be paid by Intelligence Bureau (IB). Its senior officials will be grilled. They will be asked details of their intelligence collection methodologies. They could be questioned on the legalities of the means deployed by them to collect intelligence," Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said in an article issued by the BJP.
He maintained it was IB, a central intelligence agency, that provided the information about the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) module of which Ishrat Jahan was a part. Though 26/11 convict David Headley had also confirmed that she was a LeT operative, the Central government smelt an opportunity in opening the case after her mother filed a PIL, he said.
Jaitley alleged that government has been misusing CBI for political purposes and this case appears to be one such. He lamented that in the process the IB will be asked questions about the authenticity of the intelligence collected.
BJP has often accused the Congress of indulging in minority appeasement for political gains.
"Motives could be attributed to them (IB) for having collected material against the Lashkar-e-Taiba and passed it to Gujarat Police. Only Pakistan and LeT would have the last laugh. The myopic political regime in Delhi has not realised the significance of destroying institutions," Jaitley said.
The BJP leader charged that the Congress-led government is out to harass the Gujarat government even if it means destroying India’s security apparatus. "The object of the Congress party is clear," he added.
Jaitley charged that the Congress-led Central government has been misusing CBI to target several BJP ministers. He referred to the cases against former minister of state for Home in Gujarat Amit Shah, former Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria and his cabinet colleague Rajendra Rathore (in separate cases).
Maintaining there was negligible evidence against Shah, Jaitley claimed, "When the Director of prosecution commented upon inadequacy of the evidence the file noting shows that senior CBI officials commented that the addition of Amit Shah as an accused was necessary if CBI was to reach the Chief Minister (Modi)."
He claimed that the charge sheet against Kataria "reads like fiction" and that the court had said there is no evidence against Rathore.
"In all these cases the political leaders targeted were easily released on bail. Regimes are not immortal. I do hope one day a commission of inquiry will investigate the functioning of the CBI, its politicisation and all these above cases," Jaitley said.
BJP further alleged that the government changed its affidavit in the Ishrat Jahan case after her mother filed the PIL despite there being ample proof that she was a LeT operative.
"Acting in tandem with government of India, the then banned Lashkar-e-Taiba in its' fresh incarnation as Jammat-e-Dawa disowned its earlier owning up of this module and issued an apology to Ishrat family for having called her an LeT cadre," Jaitley said.
The main Opposition also charged that Congress political strategy in Gujarat is being guided by a few disgruntled police officials who have been accused of indiscipline by the state Government.
"There is reason to believe that having shed all its professionalism, the CBI in most Gujarat cases is being guided by this disgruntled group of state policemen," Jaitley said.