New Delhi Correspondent
Opposition Congress party President Rahul Gandhi on Friday courted arrest after staging a protest outside the CBI headquarters here against the move to divest CBI Director Alok Verma of his powers and send him on leave.
Before courting arrest, Rahul, speaking at a gathering, attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of removal of Verma accusing Modi of destroying institutions, including the CBI, the Election Commission and the Enforcement Directorate.
Senior Congress leaders, including Ashok Gehlot, Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora, Veerappa Moily and Anand Sharma, joined Rahul in the street march that culminated in a demonstration before the CBI headquarters.
Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, CPI leader D Raja and Trinamool Congress lawmaker Nadimul Haque joined the protest march from Dyal Singh College in central Delhi’s Lodhi Road to the CBI headquarters, 4.2 km away.
The Congress’ protests in the national capital were replicated in other parts of the country.
The government has sent Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana on forced leave after both accused each other of taking bribe from the same businessman.
On reaching the police barricade put up in front of the CBI headquarters, Rahul got on to a truck and addressed the protesters alleging that the decision to send Verma on leave was aimed at pre-empting an investigation by the cBI into the Prime Minister’s alleged role in the deal to procure Rafale fighter jets from France.