CBI top post: Power struggle has begun between Yogesh Modi, Rakesh Asthana

The post of CBI chief will be open before the tenure of the Modi government ends. There are two people who are in stiff rivalry for the post, Yogesh Modi and Rakesh Asthana

PTI photo
PTI photo
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Umakant Lakhera

The post of CBI chief will be open for others before the tenure of the Modi government ends in the Centre. Alok Verma, the present CBI chief will be retiring next year. But interestingly, in order to get his chair, a stiff rivalry between the two officers who are considered close to the power centre in the Modi regime has begun. First person is Yogesh Chandra Modi who is an IPS officer of Assam and Meghalaya cadre and at present he is the Director General of the National Investigation Agency-NIA. The other officer is Rakesh Asthana, who is currently on the number two office bearer in the CBI. He is also considers himself as the natural contender for the post.

In the bureaucratic circles in Delhi, Yogesh Modi is considered as BJP's President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Modi's confidant. Interestingly, both Modi and Rakesh Asthana are the officials of the same 1984 batch. On the other hand, the strained relations between Asthana and the present CBI chief Alok Verma has already attracted a lot of media attention. Alok Verma, who was the police commissioner of Delhi, was appointed CBI chief in 2017 a few months before his retirement. He had ordered a probe in some corruption cases against Asthana a few months ago. It is believed that this act of trapping Asthana was a part of the exercise to prevent him from becoming the CBI Chief.

Rakesh Asthana was very close to Prime Minister Modi during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. In spite of being named in several controversies, he was appointed special director of CBI in Delhi and was made more powerful. Even now, Asthana is considered to be the main facilitator for many matters related to the PMO.

The other important names mentioned in this race are: CISF Director General Rajesh Ranjan, Bharat Scout and Guide Head chief Rajinikanth Mishra, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and UP DGP OP Singh

On the other hand, when Yogesh Chandra Modi was appointed the head of NIA, the opposition parties alleged that the government is trying to weaken the cases of saffron terrorism by appointing such officials on highly sensitive posts. Modi was brought to Delhi as soon as the BJP government was formed at the centre. He was appointed the additional director of CBI in 2015. Before becoming the NIA chief, He has worked for two years in the CBI.

It is important to note here that Yogesh Modi was included in the SIT team formed by the Supreme Court in 2002 to investigate the Gujarat riots. This team had given was a clean chit to Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots cases. In one of the incidents during these riots, 69 people, including a former MP, were killed.

The other important names mentioned in this race are: CISF Director General Rajesh Ranjan, Bharat Scout and Guide Head chief Rajinikanth Mishra, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik and UP DGP OP Singh.

The process of selection of the CBI chief is initiated by Central Personnel Department, which is directly under the Prime Minister. .After a long process of selection and the vigilance investigation of officials, it is the Prime Minister who takes the final call about his deployment.

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