New Delhi: Rajasthan BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria may have been chargesheeted by the CBI in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. But, as the BJP alleged, is Gujarat CM Narendra Modi the real target of the CBI? The CBI's move to chargesheet Kataria brought out the entire BJP brass against the CBI on Wednesday, with BJP president Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and even Kataria-baiter Vasundhara Raje putting up a strong defence for the leader.
Jaitley called the chargesheet an attempt to target Modi. "This is nothing else but an attempt to target Modi. Even earlier, they didn't find anything on Amit Shah whom they had arrested first on allegations of being involved in this encounter killing."
In November 2005, when Sohrabuddin was murdered along with his wife Kauser Bi by an ATS squad comprising of Gujarat and Rajasthan cadre IPS officers, Gulab Chand Kataria was Rajasthan's home minister, while Amit Shah was MoS Gujarat. But it was Gujarat CM Modi who was in-charge of the home department.
So why is the BJP worried? The party's main worry is that if the CBI can get up to the level of two of its home ministers across two states in Sohrabuddin Sheikh's fake encounter killing, will they go in for Narendra Modi next?
With Amit Shah already chargesheeted, is the CBI working towards bringing Modi under the net as well? Since he was senior minister, he should have known what his junior was doing, say experts.
With the CBI suspecting that Kataria was influenced by marble traders in Rajasthan to eliminate Sohrabuddin, BJP's anti-corruption plank could take a hit in an election year. Raje even told the media, "We will meet and we will strategise how best to defend Gulab Chand Kataria."
The BJP was hoping to take the fight against corruption into the UPA camp, had it not been for Kataria being chargesheeted by the CBI in the two related fake encounter killings of Tulsiram Prajapati and Sohrabuddin Sheikh's wife, Kauser Bi.
Now the BJP has adopted a two-pronged strategy - question the CBI's independence on one hand, and on the other, give a clean chit on its own senior leaders.
Kejriwal likely to sack Law Minister Jitender Tomar over allegations of fake degree
Rahul Gandhi takes a train to Punjab to meet grief-stricken farmers
Uproar in Rajya Sabha over Modi flaying opposition outside India, Jaitley says can't issue gag order against PM