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Kejri Cries Foul, CBI Holds Up Rule Book

With just one show of tactlessness, CBI has ensured that the many questions now being raised by Kejriwal and his men are finding legitimacy in the public mind

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This has been a week that saw “political vendetta” replace “intolerance” as trending words. Even three days after the raids, #KejriwalOfficeRaid continues to be the talk of Twitter town; and that’s precisely because of the tactlessness displayed by CBI in the proceedings. By informing the Delhi Chief Minister about the raids at his secretariat, the investigating agency could have avoided what has now become a full-fledged political war. It is customary to seal premises that is being raided, but if the premises is adjacent to a Chief Minister’s office then it does raise questions, because this caused Kejriwal to be kept out of office during the search and seizure hours. As expected, CBI has been on the defense especially after the Delhi CM decided to take the war to the Prime Minister. Even as Kejriwal tweeted that CBI is being used to target political “parties that don’t fall in line”, the investigating agency is now holding up the rule book; saying that the head of the department in the Delhi Government was kept informed ahead of the raids. For CBI it would be handy to remember that in a federal set-up its good to keep the State Government apprised of CBI’s move, especially in a case where the head of the state in not the subject of investigation.

With just one show of tactlessness, CBI has ensured that the many questions now being raised by Kejriwal and his men are finding legitimacy in the public mind. The Delhi CM is claiming that the documents seized included a ‘file movement register’ pertaining to the period November 15-December 15, 2015, if true, could give credence to his charge that the investigation is not confined to Mr. Kumar’s decisions during the period from 2007 to 2014. His grievance that he is being targeted in the name of a probe against his Principal Secretary might require more proof but it is definitely increasing perceptions of the use of the CBI for political ends by the Central Government.

Kejriwal has styled his politics as becoming the face of a fighter against powers above him, and the CBI raids have just bolstered his image as the leader of an anti-Modi coalition. Even if BJP wasn’t aware of the impending raids at Kejriwal’s office, comments being made by its ministers and spokespersons are definitely not helping their cause.