BHOPAL: In the wake of the Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal governments withdrawing the "general consent" accorded to the CBI to conduct raids and probes, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said those who had a lot to hide would fear the central agency.
He was speaking to reporters here after releasing the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) manifesto for the November 28 Madhya Pradesh assembly polls.
The Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal governments have withdrawn their "general consent" to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)+ to conduct raids and investigations.
The agency would now need permission from the respective state governments to carry out any investigation in these states, except those ordered by the courts and against central government officials.
"It is only those who have a lot to hide will take the step of saying let the CBI not come to my state. There is no sovereignty of any state in the matter of corruption," Jaitley said in response to a query.
"It is believed that Andhra's move is not motivated by any particular case, but by the fear of what is likely to happen. I am not saying anything more than that at the moment," he added.
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"We have a federal structure in India and under that federal structure, the CBI was created initially for the employees of the central government and then, to investigate certain kinds of very serious cases in the states, which were referred to it either by the states or courts," Jaitley said.
Referring to the alleged Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting operation, he said, "Saradha and Narada in West Bengal cannot be wiped off merely by saying that for the future, I denotify the CBI."