The Andhra Pradesh government's decision to withdraw the general consent given to CBI, that empowers the agency to exercise powers in the state, has triggered a fresh war of words between political parties.
While the apex court is yet to decide the fate of the internal tussle at CBI, the probe agency has been drawn into another controversy. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu today barred the agency from undertaking any probe in the state, without the approval of the state government. The Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to withdraw the general consent given to CBI, that empowers the agency to exercise powers in the state, has triggered a fresh war of words between political parties.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday slammed the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for allegedly destroying key Indian institutions such as the CBI and the RBI and came in support of TDP government’s decision to not allow CBI in the state. “Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu has done the right thing in saying that he won’t allow Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in his state,” ANI quoted Banerjee as saying.
“BJP is history changer, name changer, note changer, institution changer but not game changer. The country is in danger. They (BJP) project as if they have given birth to the nation but they were nowhere during independence,” she added in a direct attack on the saffron party.
The Congress also came out in support of the Andhra Pradesh government and alleged that BJP has destroyed the agency and its credibility. However, BJP lashed out at the decision, terming it a malafide exercise of power to protect graft.
Asserting that the central government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has zero tolerance for corruption, BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said that Naidu is nervous before the polls and is trying to shield corruption. He added that this appears to be a part of ‘vision document’ of the Grand Alliance to stop the investigation by law enforcement agencies in cases of alleged corruption. The BJP’s ‘Maha-Corrupt’ alliance barb came after Mamata Banerjee came out in support of Naidu.
The Andhra Pradesh government withdrawing general consent means that in the absence of the permission, the central agency cannot interfere with any case which comes under the limits of the state. The agency works as per the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act and it cannot exercise its powers and jurisdiction in any area in a state without the consent of the government of that state.
Ever since he snapped ties with the Narendra Modi-led NDA government in March this year, Naidu had been alleging that the Centre was misusing agencies like the CBI to target political opponents. The latest move by the TDP government is seen as another flash-point between the state and the Centre after TDP pulled out of BJP-led NDA in March this year. Party chief Chandrababu Naidu had been accusing the Modi government of misusing central agencies to target TDP leaders for demanding special category status to the state.
The recent raids by Income Tax authorities on some business establishments, run by those close to the ruling Telugu Desam Party in the state, have left Naidu red-faced. Subsequently, he announced that his government would not provide police cover to the IT officials for conducting the raids.