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Rahul Stages Sit-in at Police Station After Protest, Says Removing CBI Chief Won't Help PM Modi

Accusing the government of forcing Verma into exile to cover-up corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal, he said that the Prime Minister can run, but not hide from the truth.

News18.com

Updated:October 26, 2018, 7:00 PM IST
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Rahul Stages Sit-in at Police Station After Protest, Says Removing CBI Chief Won't Help PM Modi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and senior party leaders detained after they courted arrest during a protest demanding the reinstatement of CBI Director Alok Verma outside the CBI headquarters, at a police station in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi courted arrest on Friday after spearheading a massive opposition protest outside the CBI headquarters against the Narendra Modi government’s decision to send director Alok Verma on leave.

Joined by other top leaders of his party, Gandhi walked into a police station at Lodhi Road in the capital and spent close to 50 minutes inside, waiting for the police to take action against him as Congress workers staged a demonstration outside.

Accusing the government of forcing Verma into exile to cover-up corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal, he said that the Prime Minister can run, but not hide from the truth.

Leaders from the Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, CPI(M) and other parties marched also joined in the protest march from Dyal Singh College to the CBI headquarters, over 4 km away.

The Congress has demanded the immediate reinstatement of Verma and slammed the government for what it says is the "illegal, unconstitutional and illegitimate removal of the CBI director".

The protest by the opposition came even as the Supreme Court directed the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to complete its inquiry against Verma and his deputy, Rakesh Asthana, within two weeks. The probe will be monitored by former judge AK Patnaik.

Rahul Gandhi leads protest march to CBI headquarters
Rahul Gandhi and senior Congress leaders stage a protest demanding the reinstatement of CBI Director Alok Verma outside the CBI headquarters on Friday. (PTI Photo)

Reiterating his allegations against the Prime Minister on the Rafale deal, Gandhi again called him a "chowkidar" and said he had "deposited Rs 30,000 crore in Anil Ambani's pocket".

"He has stolen money from the Indian Air Force and the youth, and the entire country understands this. The prime minister can run but he cannot hide from the truth," Gandhi told reporters after courting arrest at the Lodhi Colony police station.

There were no immediate reactions from the Prime Minister's Office on Gandhi's allegations. While Ambani has been consistently denying the allegations, the BJP has accused Gandhi of manufacturing lies everyday on the Rafale deal.

"The truth will come out," Gandhi said, adding that removing the CBI director will not impact the truth. Addressing the gathering of Congress protesters, he accused Modi of destroying institutions such as the CBI, the Election Commission and the Enforcement Directorate.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has destroyed each and every institution in the country. Be it the CBI or the Election Commission. He is attacking each and every institution. And there’s only one reason behind it – Chowkidar chor hai,” he said.

The protest march saw hundreds of people shouting slogans and carrying placards and posters criticising the central government. One man sat inside a cage with a CBI banner, depicting it as the ‘caged parrot’.

Senior Congress leaders, including Ashok Gehlot, Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora, Veerappa Moily and Anand Sharma, also took part in the march that culminated in a demonstration ahead of the CBI headquarters. Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, CPI leader D Raja and TMC's Nadimul Haque joined the protest.

The Congress' protests in the national capital were replicated in other parts of the country.

State Congress leaders led demonstrations in their regions against what the Congress described as the “illegal removal of the CBI director by the Modi-Shah duo".
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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