Andhra Pradesh government has empowered state investigation agency with CBI’s duties
The CBI cannot conduct raids or investigations in Andhra Pradesh without permission, the state’s Chandrababu Naidu government has said, setting up a new point of conflict with the centre. The state government has withdrawn “general consent” to the CBI or Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to operate in Andhra Pradesh.
Rules for the country’s top investigating agency say it has complete jurisdiction over Delhi but can enter other states with the “general consent” of their government.
That permission has been withdrawn now, said a ruling party leader, so the CBI cannot “interfere” in any case in Andhra Pradesh.
The Andhra government has also empowered the state investigation agency with the CBI’s duties.
A “confidential” order withdrawing CBI’s free pass in Andhra Pradesh was issued on November 8, three months after the state government allowed the CBI to exercise its powers and jurisdiction in the state. The order was leaked out on Thursday.
In March, Chandrababu Naidu pulled out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance over demands for special status to Andhra Pradesh.
Recently, he also accused the centre of undermining the credibility of the CBI for its own gains.
A spokesperson of Mr Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, Lanka Dinakar, told ANI, “This decision has been taken in the wake of incidents happening in CBI since last six months. It lost its independence due to the involvement of the Narendra Modi-led union government which is using CBI as a tool against political opponents using fabricated statements.”
Recent raids by income tax authorities on business establishments run by those close to the ruling Telugu Desam Party have embarrassed the chief minister.
Mr Naidu won support from his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee for his move. “Chandrababu Naidu has done the right thing in saying he wouldn’t allow CBI in his state. The BJP can be ‘note changer’, but it’s not a game changer,” she said.