Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials questioned Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi the third consecutive day on Wednesday even as thousands of Congress workers and senior leaders continued their protests at the AICC headquarters at Akbar Road and the agency’s headquarters in Central Delhi. Gandhi was questioned by ED officials after he reached the ED office at 11.42 a.m., accompanied by his sister Priyanka. He was interrogated for 11 hours on Tuesday, with the second round ending half an hour before midnight. The Wayanad MP has been interrogated by ED officials for about 21 hours in the past two days.
Rahul is asked to appear again before the ED for the fourth round of questioning on Friday.
As Gandhi appeared for his interrogation, Congress workers staged protests before the ED office, which was heavily barricaded, who were stopped by a heavy posse of police and paramilitary forces. Many workers and leaders were detained, including Youth Congress chief BV Srinivas and Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhary.
The day witnessed a high-voltage drama at the AICC headquarters at Akbar Road where thousands of Congress workers had gathered to protest against what Congress leaders dub as ‘vendetta politics’ by BJP government which is going hammer and tongs after Congress high command. Delhi Police personnel gate-crashed the AICC office and manhandled the protesters in the presence of media. The Congress Party posted a video on its twitter handle purportedly showing policemen forcibly entering the AICC office. Calling the act as rank despotism and goondaism, the Congress tweeted, “O, Dictator … if you want to act like goons, get down from the high chair of democracy and face the public. The Congress office to which you sent police goons has defeated the largest empire in the world … what to talk of your ego. We shall destroy your ego.”
Delhi Police arrested Congress leader and Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot when he reached at the gates of AICC headquarters to join the protest. According to police authorities, over 800 protesting workers and many senior leaders have been arrested in the past three days.
Addressing a press conference here, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel slammed the BJP government over the ED probe against Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case. He said that police were not allowing party office bearers and staff to enter the AICC office. This kind of situation never arose where members of political parties were not allowed to enter their offices. “Why is this happening?” Baghel asked. “It is because one person is raising his voice against the wrongdoings of the Centre for the last 8 years. The person is Rahul Gandhi. Be it GST, demonetization, COVID mismanagement, lockdown, unemployment, inflation or the security of borders, Rahul Gandhi has been raising his voice against every important issue,” said the Congress chief minister.
In the meanwhile, a protest by Congress workers and leaders in Guwahati on Wednesday turned violent resulting in minor injuries to ACP Himangshu Das of Guwahati City Police. “The Congress staged a demonstration at Rajiv Bhawan. Some people were arrested. I got injured there,” ANI quoted the officer as saying.