(L) Mallikarjun Kharge, (R) Arun Jaitely
(L) Mallikarjun Kharge, (R) Arun Jaitely

Kharge hits back at Jaitley, says 'strongest dissent note' against CBI was written by him last week

ANI | Updated: Feb 04, 2019 20:36 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 4 (ANI): Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday hit back at Union Minister Arun Jaitley for calling him "regular dissenter" and said the BJP leader was the "strongest" dissenter against the CBI and its functioning.
 Kharge said the "value of the Prime Minister's office has been brought down" the way the government has "conducted itself in the matter of appointment of the CBI director (R K Shukla), particularly the way Justice Patnaik's report was suppressed and courts have been misguided regarding the appointment of the Interim Director of CBI." 
A day after Jaitley attacked him in a blog, Kharge wrote a letter to Jaitley, who is getting treated in the US, saying, "the fact that you chose to respond from halfway across the world indicates something worries the government."
Jaitley's attack on Kharge came after the Congress leader, who is a part of three-member Selection Committee headed by the Prime Minister, conveyed his dissent to the appointment of R K Shukla as the CBI Director last week.
“Kharge dissents regularly. He dissented when Alok Verma was appointed (as CBI Director in 2017), dissented when Alok Verma was transferred (last month) and has now dissented when  R. K. Shukla has been appointed. The only thing constant in the High Powered Committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the Opposition which deals with the CBI Director’s appointment and transfer, is the Kharge dissent," Jaitley wrote in his blog on Sunday.
Kharge, wrote a two-page letter to Jaitley on Monday, saying "The strongest dissent note against the CBI and its functioning has been penned by you last week in the matter in which bank frauds were being investigated. The CBI took your note seriously enough to transfer officers and stop investigations."
He was apparently referring to Jaitley's blog in which he had suggested that the CBI was treading into "investigative adventurism", a day after the agency booked former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar.
Going further, Kharge wrote that the reason why Jaitley has chosen to respond to the tough questions he poses indicates that there is something that bothers the government.
"You ask, 'Has Mr Kharge brought down the value of dissent?' by asking difficult questions repeatedly, the value of questions raised doesn't come down. The fact that you chose to respond from halfway across the world indicates something worries the government," he added. (ANI)

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