ASIA

Cong. protests as Sonia Gandhi appears for ED questioning

India has turned into a police state and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is behaving like a king, said Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Amid strong protests from Congress leaders including party leader Rahul Gandhi and activists, who were later arrested, party president Sonia Gandhi appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in the National Herald case here on Tuesday. Mrs Gandhi, who had been questioned last week too, was examined by ED sleuths for over six hours on Tuesday, and has been called again to the ED office on Wednesday.

Mrs Gandhi drove in with her son Rahul and daughter Priyanka. The questioning was held in two sessions —from 11.15 am till 2.30 pm and then from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm. The ED had an ambulance and doctors in attendance to take care of any medical emergency.

Just before he was detained on a road near Vijay Chowk, Rahul Gandhi said: “India has turned into a police state and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is behaving like a king.” He sat on the road protesting that he along with a delegation was not being allowed to march up to Rashtrapati Bhavan. After a standoff between him and the police that lasted almost an hour, he along with his colleagues was whisked away in a bus from Vijay Chowk.  

The leaders of several Opposition parties on Tuesday wrote to President Droupadi Murmu, alleging the “intensifying misuse” of the investigative agencies by the Narendra Modi government against its political opponents and sought her immediate intervention in the matter. The Opposition parties last week rallied behind the Congress and issued a joint statement accusing the Central government of having “unleashed a relentless campaign of vendetta against its political opponents”.

The Congress shared Rahul Gandhi’s image alongside a black and white photo from the archives showing former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi — his grandmother — on a similar protest. “History repeating,” the party tweeted.

Later, in a tweet, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said: “All Congress MPs stopped at Vijay Chowk and prevented from marching to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Forcibly arrested. Now we are in police buses being taken to a place only PM and HM know where.” At the Congress headquarters too, there was commotion between the Youth Congress leaders and workers and the security personnel deployed there.


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