New Delhi: BJP today said its top leaders decided against attending the lunch hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to protest against “misuse” of CBI by summoning Gujarat minister Amit Shah in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.
Addressing a press conference, senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley said they along with L K Advani and BJP chief Nitin Gadkari had received the invitation for the lunch which they had accepted.
“We met yesterday and decided not to go for the lunch which was conveyed this morning. This is to protest against the misuse of CBI in Gujarat,” Swaraj told reporters after a meeting of the top leaders here.
She said Advani had raised the issue of “misuse” of CBI with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee but government did not pay heed.
Jaitley termed the summoning of Shah as “political vendetta” and alleged that CBI has become the “extended arm” of the ruling party. “The timing of this is chosen for the political convenience of the Congress party,” he added. Jaitley said the track record of CBI did not ”inspire” confidence. “Government has been shamelessly misusing CBI,” he said adding investigations into the 2-G spectrum scam has been “put in cold storage”.
Swaraj noted that the atmosphere was “vitiated” and therefore the leaders thought that it was “inappropriate” to attend the lunch.
Alleging that CBI was used by the government for its advantage, she said the agency was used to save “their people” like Bofors accused Ottavio Quattrochi and anti-Sikh riots accused Jagdish Tytler.
In other cases, she alleged, the CBI was used to “trap” opponents like Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Narendra Modi.
“In the third scenario, the agency is used as a Damocles sword to pressurise some political parties. Summoning of Shah is part of this series,” she said.