BJP cancels lunch with PM after CBI summons Shah (Lead)

July 23rd, 2010 - 4:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday cancelled a lunch with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh citing the “bitter atmosphere” following the CBI’s summons to Gujarat minister Amit Shah in the 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a staged shootout.
“Four BJP leaders were invited for the PM’s luncheon meeting but we decided not to attend it over the bitter atmosphere following the CBI’s summons to Shah,” Sushma Swaraj, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, told reporters.

The prime minister had invited L.K. Advani, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and Sushma Swaraj for a lunch meeting to discuss issues before the parliament’s monsoon session starting Monday.

Sushma said they had accepted the invitation but met at Advani’s house Thursday evening to discuss how the CBI was being misused in Gujarat to harass Shah, Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s close aide and the minister of state for home.

“The government is misusing CBI to harass its opponents. The whole political environment is being polluted by it. So, it would have been very embarrassing if we went to the PM’s house for lunch,” she said.

“As far as the misuse of CBI is concerned, the government is saving their own people like Quattrocchi, Jagdish Tytler, Satish Sharma. They just trouble their opponents … this is a show of sheer dominance by Congress to save its government,” she added.

Her colleague Arun Jaitley, who heads the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, added that the CBI was behaving like an extended arm of the ruling party and the timing had been chosen for Congress’ political convenience.

“When the Gujarat Police investigated the matter in Gujarat, nothing was found against Amit Shah. The investigations carried out by independent investigators appointed by the Supreme Court couldn’t find anything even in the second phase. Today, on the basis of baseless facts a political agenda is being fulfilled by the CBI and the government has a clear conspiracy in this,” said Jaitely.

“This is the policy of the Congress to create such an environment so that limelight shifts away from issues like rising prices of fuel, misadventure of the Indo-Pakistan dialogue and Warren Anderson case,” he said.

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has been accused of killing Sohrabuddin Sheikh near Ahmedabad in a staged shootout in 2005. His wife Kauser-Bi has also been missing since then.

Police claimed the dead man was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative.

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