Indian National Congress party hit the streets in the national capital on Friday demanding “reinstatement” of CBI Director Alok Verma. Led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi hundreds of party activists and senior leaders took to streets slamming the government for what it says is the “illegal, unconstitutional and illegitimate removal of the CBI director.”
On this occasion Rahul Gandhi blamed the Prime Minister of finishing every institution of the country to hide the corruption in ‘Rafale deal’ saying, “Chowkidar chor hai” (Watchman is a thief) further stating, “The Congress will not allow the ‘chowkidar’ to commit this theft. The opposition parties will not allow the ‘chowkidar’ to commit the theft.”
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is finishing every institution of the country because he wants to hide the corruption in the Rafale deal. He is attacking the CBI, Election Commission and other institutions. Chowkidar chor hai (Watchman is a thief),” he said in a brief address to a crowd of Congress workers outside the CBI headquarters in Lodhi Road area in south Delhi.
Gandhi was leading the protest along with various senior leaders of his party Bhupinder Hooda, Ahmed Patel, Ashok Ghelot and Randeep Singh Surjewala as well as various opposition leaders Nadimul Haque (Trinamool Congress), D. Raja (CPI) and Sharad Yadav (Loktantrik Janata Dal) in a march from Dyal Singh College in central Delhi’s Lodhi Road to the CBI headquarters a distance of around 4 kms.
Linking the government’s action of divesting CBI Director Alok Verma of his powers, duties and functions with the controversy over the Rafale contract, the Congress President alleged that the Prime Minister had benefited a businessman to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore through this deal.
“The Prime Minister can run and run but cannot hide from truth. The truth will come out. The Prime Minister acted out of fear and panic (on the issue). The Prime Minister cannot give a rupee in waiver for farmers. Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi, Lalit Modi all fled. Anil Ambani will also flee.”
Senior party leader Ashok Ghelot said the Congress was staging protests outside CBI offices throughout the country with the demand that Alok Verma be reinstated.
“We want the reinstatement of Alok Verma. He can be transferred only by the collegium of Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Leader of Opposition. The Prime Minister should tender an apology to the nation for destroying the image of CBI.”
Later, Gandhi and other leaders were taken to the Lodhi Colony police station in a police bus and Surjewala tweeted that Gandhi and other leaders have been arrested.
“Rahul Gandhi’s arrest by an autocratic Modi government won’t deter or cow down millions of Congress workers from exposing the dismantling of the CBI to hide the Rafale scam,” he said.
“The Prime Minister can run and run but cannot hide from truth. The truth will come out. The Prime Minister acted out of fear and panic (on the issue). The Prime Minister cannot give a rupee in waiver for farmers. Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi, Lalit Modi all fled. Anil Ambani will also flee.