The number of opposition leaders under the lens of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has gone up from 60 per cent during the tenure of the UPA government to 95 per cent during the NDA government. Under UPA-1 and 2, between 2004 and 2014, the number of political leaders under probe was 72 and 43 of them were opposition leaders, a report in the Indian Express (IE) said.
Under the NDA government, since 2014, the number of political leaders facing investigation has gone up to 124 and 118 of them are opposition leaders. Six of them belong to the BJP.
The IE report further said that just as during the UPA rule, when a leader switches sides to the ruling party, the CBI case against him/her is either dismissed or the proceedings are put on the back burner.
Under the current government, NDA-2, the highest number of leaders under probe come from Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC). Thirty politicians out of 124 come from the TMC. They are followed by 26 from Congress and 10 from Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)
During UPA’s rule, the maximum number of cases were filed against BJP leaders. This was followed by Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and TMC. Twenty-nine leaders under probe belonged either to Congress or its allies.
The IE report added that the Sarada chit fund case, the Narada sting operation case and the latest “school jobs for cash” case have made TMC the largest party facing CBI investigations.
In 2013, DMK walked out of the UPA alliance. The house of MK Stalin was subsequently raided by CBI. The information related to 33 illegal cars was provided to the CBI a month earlier, but it raided the leader only after he walked out of the ruling alliance.
In August, days after Nitish Kumar walked out of the alliance with BJP in Bihar and formed a government with RJD, the house of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav was raided. Yadav is the deputy chief minister of Bihar.
The IE report, however, quoted a CBI official as saying that the agency does not target Opposition leaders specifically and it is “merely a coincidence”.