Delhi Police detained Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Sachin Pilot, Ajay Maken, Deependra Hooda, IYC president B. Srinivas and several others.
NEW DELHI — In support of their leader Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, party workers and supporters held huge protests and rallies in several cities across the country on Thursday. Sonia Gandhi is being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with National Herald case though she is not in the pink of her health and is reportedly facing speech issues.
Sonia Gandhi has been called to join the investigation in connection with the National Herald case. Earlier, she was summoned twice by the ED, but had sought postponement on health grounds.
Congress leader and daughter of Sonia is accompanying her in ED office having a medicine box for her mother as she told the ED officials that since her mother does not keep well, she takes care of the medicines and hence her presence is required. ED allowed her to stay but in separate room.
Heavy security and deployment of paramilitary forces were seen outside Congress Headquarter and ED office in New Delhi on Thursday. Barricades were also erected at different places to stop protesters from reaching ED office.
In national capital Delhi, Congress workers gathered in large number at different locations to protest against their party’s interim President Sonia Gandhi being summoned by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday.
Outside the party headquarters at 24, Akbar Road, the Delhi Police used water cannons to disperse the protesters who were trying to cross the barricades placed by the police.
Meanwhile, the police detained several party leaders including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former Union Minister P. Chidambaram, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Sachin Pilot, Ajay Maken, Deependra Hooda, IYC president B. Srinivas among several others.
The party leaders alleged that the police were not allowing them to even protest against the government and are continuously harassing them.
The Youth Congress members on Thursday stopped several trains at the Shivaji Bridge railway station in New Delhi in protest against the questioning of their party president Sonia Gandhi by the ED.
The party workers lay down on the railway tracks and some of them climbed atop the train.
The protesters raised slogans against the Central government and the financial probe agency ED for allegedly targeting the members of the opposition and muzzling their voice.
“This is a symbolic demonstration against the dictatorship which is constantly bent on crushing the Constitution and democracy,” the Youth Congress said.
A huge rally was organised in Hyderabad against the questioning of their leader Sonia Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate in the National Herald case.
Telangana Congress president A. Revanth Reddy led the rally from Indira Gandhi statue on Necklace Road to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regional office in Basheerbagh.
The Congress leaders and workers later sat on a dharna at the ED office to condemn what they call attempts by the Narendra Modi government to implicate Sonia Gandhi in a false case. They announced that the protest will continue till Sonia Gandhi comes out of the ED office in New Delhi.
Large number of party workers participated in the rally. Holding party flags and placards, they raised slogans against the Modi government. Some of them were carrying black flags and black balloons.
In Karnataka, Congress workers burnt a car parked opposite the office of Enforcement Directorate (ED) here alleging vendetta politics by the ruling BJP in connection with the questioning of its interim President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday.
A group of party workers attached to the Karnataka Pradesh Youth Congress, including a woman, holding the party flag torched the car triggering tension in the area. They raised slogans of ‘Congress zindabad’ in front of the ED office in the Shantinagar locality.
The state Congress unit organised a massive protest in the premises of Freedom Park in the state capital. The party has declared that the protest will continue until ruling BJP stops “torturing” Sonia Gandhi by misusing the Central government agencies.
In Maharashtra, Congress and its outfits in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and other places staged vociferous protests on Thursday over the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoning Congress President Sonia Gandhi for questioning.
The agitation was led by state President Nana Patole, Mumbai chief Bhai Jagtap, with the participation of several top leaders including former ministers like Varsha Gaikwad, Aslam Shaikh, Ashok Chavan, and party working president Charan Singh Sapra among others.
This morning they started out in a huge procession from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to the ED office in south Mumbai.
Carrying banners and posters, they raised slogans slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party government and the ED for “misusing central investigating agencies” to target the Opposition party leaders all over India.
In Goa, Congress staged a protest in the capital city against summoning of party interim president Sonia Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the National Herald case.
Holding placards, the Congress leaders and supporters raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for reopening the case.
Terming it political vendetta and dictatorship of the BJP government, GPCC President Amit Patkar said: “This is a political vendetta by the BJP. They are trying to finish opposition in the country. They have no answer for the questions and issues we raise,” Patkar said.
“At present Inflation is at high, LPG, Petrol prices are increasing. BJP has no solution for this. However, it is busy suppressing voice. BJP should stop it”, he said. — With inputs from IANS