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BJP wrong in questioning CBI chief appointment, says senior party leader Ram Jethmalani

CNN-IBN
Nov 24, 2012 at 04:26pm IST

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha member and Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Saturday countered his party's stand over the appointment of the new CBI director. Jethmalani wrote a letter to party president Nitin Gadkari saying that the BJP is wrong in questioning the appointment of CBI director. "I regret that this criticism is the result of complete ignorance of relevant facts and possibly has been initiated by a most undesirable rival who had to withdraw his petition before the CAT as a result of the appointment," Jethmalani wrote in the letter.

Jethmalani also alleged that the "rival had powerful friends everywhere who do not know what a disaster it would have been if he could manage to become Director of CBI in place of Mr Sinha". Ranjit Sinha, a 1974 batch officer of Bihar cadre, was appointed as the next CBI chief on Friday. He is presently the Director General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force.

The senior BJP leader said that he would arrange for a "huge bunch of documents showing how the governments' action, for a change, had averted a national calamity". "I have to request you to ensure that these critics from our party refrain from further comments till they know all the facts. I claim to know the facts from my own knowledge," Jethmalani wrote to Gadkari.

Speaking to CNN-IBN, Jethmalani reiterated his claims and praised the Prime Minister for appointing Sinha as the new CBI director. "I always criticise the PM. But this time I must congratulate him. The one who wanted to become the CBI director is not qualified enough to hold the post. His record is so bad. He is even incapable for the post he's holding right now," the BJP leader said.

Senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj had on Friday written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that appointment of the new CBI Director should not have been done when the Rajya Sabha Select Committee had recommended that such appointments should be done through a collegium.

The Prime Minister, however, rejected BJP's demand to hold in abeyance appointment of new CBI Director Ranjit Sinha and termed as "unwarranted" insinuation the charge that the decision was to preempt the procedure recommended by the Select Committee on Lokpal. In a letter to Jaitley, Manmohan Singh said the premier investigating agency could not be kept without a head pending the enactment of the Lokpal and "the question of keeping the new appointment in abeyance does not arise".

Jethmalani, who is known for making controversial statements, had recently "embarrassed" his party when he said that Lord Ram was a bad as he sent his wife Sita to exile for no specific reason. "Ram was a bad husband. I don't like him at all. Just because some fisherman said something, he sent that poor woman (Sita) to vanvaas (exile). Lakshman was even worse. When Sita was abducted, Ram asked him to go find her as she was abducted under his watch. Lakshman simply excused himself saying she was his sister-in-law and he never looked at her face, so he wouldn't be able to identify her."

He was also engaged in a probity battle with the BJP president, whom he had been pressing to resign in the face of corruption allegations against him.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy has come out in defence of his party saying they aren't talking about the individual but the process the government followed in appointing the new CBI director. "If it was an appointment which had to be done, the new formula could have been adopted and there could have been a wider consultation," he said.

Information and Broadcasting Minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari has praised Jethmalani for his stand on the issue saying, "Ramjethmalani's assessment is spot on and his criticism is correct on BJP's stand."

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