BJP leaders boycott Prime Minister's lunch

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New Delhi, July 23 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Friday refused to attend Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's lunch in protest against the CBI summoning Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah for questioning on 2005 Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.

Addressing media here, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, and BJP national spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad defended their decision to boycott the event.

Swaraj said: "We decided not to go for the lunch which was conveyed this morning. This is to protest against the misuse of the CBI in Gujarat."

"The government is misusing the CBI to defame the Modi government," she added.

Jaitley alleged that CBI has become the extended arm of the ruling party.

"We are firmly of the view that the CBI summons to Amit Shah is politically motivated. The Centre is trying to save their own people," he added.

Earlier in the day , Shah's lawyer asked the CBI for more time and more details of what sort of questions the minister is likely to face.

According to sources, this is a strategic move to avoid direct questioning by the CBI.

Shah, who is a close aide of Modi, had confirmed Thursday that he would obey the CBI summons and appear for questioning on Friday.

He was first ordered on Thursday to show up for questioning by 1 pm. When there was no sign of him, the CBI issued a second summons with a deadline of 1 pm on Friday.

Sohrabuddin and his wife were killed in an alleged fake encounter in 2005.

In March 2007, police said Sohrabuddin Sheikh, belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba and was planning to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to avenge the death of Muslims killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The CBI took up the case on directions of the Supreme Court. Earlier, the apex court had asked the CBI to probe if there was any larger conspiracy to the killings and submit the report by July 31. (ANI)

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