In a press conference held at the Congress headquarters on Friday, former party president Rahul Gandhi was repeatedly asked whether the Congress is protesting because the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has tightened the investigation dice?, to which, Rahul Gandhi refused to answer! But as not only the Congress but also the other opposition parties have realized that the ED network cannot be broken unless they take to the streets and become aggressive, the Congress seems to have decided to face the BJP directly in the Parliament and now outside the Parliament for the past two weeks.
Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi have been interrogated by the ‘ED’ in the financial misappropriation case related to the Congress mouthpiece ‘National Herald’. The office of ‘Young Indian’, where Sonia and Rahul are directors, has been locked. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge was an officer of ‘Young Indian’ Company and was questioned by ‘ED’ for eight hours on Thursday. After protesting the ED notice in the Rajya Sabha, Kharge left to meet the ED officials at 12:30. Kharge’s residence hosted a dinner party for Vice-Presidential candidate Margaret Alva on Thursday evening at half past eight. Leaders of opposition parties were invited to this event. But, Kharge was caught up in the investigation of ‘ED’.
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After the arrest of Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, not only Shiv Sena MPs, but all opposition parties like Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Nationalist Congress Party, Aam Aadmi Party have united against the ‘ED’ investigation. Sonia Gandhi was seen to be so aggressive in the Lok Sabha, she was protesting directly in the open space of the Lok Sabha Speaker. But, this time, the Congress and the opposition parties seem to have corrected their earlier mistake. Congress had also started correcting the wrong from last week itself. When Rahul Gandhi was interrogated, the Congress had openly taken a stand against the ‘ED’. At this time, the Congress and the opposition have aggressively attacked the ‘ED’ by keeping the issue of inflation, unemployment and GST in front of the Parliament and outside the Parliament.
Amendments to the Money Laundering Act (PMLA) have given wide investigative powers to investigative agencies like the ED. It also authorizes widespread raids. The Supreme Court has recently confirmed that these powers given to investigative agencies like ‘ED’ are correct. Only after the verdict of the Supreme Court was handed down, the office of ‘Young Indian’ was raided by ‘ED’ in relation to ‘National Herald’ and later this office was closed. Delhi Police cordoned off Sonia Gandhi’s residence on ‘Daha Janpath’ and Rahul Gandhi’s residence and Congress headquarters on Tughlaq Road soon after closing the office of ‘Young Indian’. Congress leaders alleged that they tried to increase pressure against Congress through police action with ‘ED’. It was being discussed that the ED might be planning to raid the residences of Sonia and Rahul. With the possibility of a raid, the Congress leaders reached the party headquarters. Later, the Delhi Police lifted the blockade on both sides of Akbar Road, which houses the Congress headquarters and Sonia’s residence, and cleared the road for traffic. Congress leader Ajay Maken held a press conference on Friday, challenging that ‘Congress will march under any circumstances’ and clarified that now the ‘ED’ network laid by the central government and the BJP will be broken on the streets.
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After Rahul Gandhi’s press conference at the Congress headquarters, the two-level agitation of the Congress started on Friday. Congress MPs tried to march from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Police prohibited any form of protest in the Parliament premises due to the imposition of curfew at Vijay Chowk. The march led by Rahul Gandhi was stopped due to complete blockade by the police at Vijay Chowk. Before the march, Congress MPs from both houses, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, protested at the main entrance of the Parliament building wearing black clothes. From the Congress headquarters, the party leaders had decided to march to the Prime Minister’s residence. The leadership of this march was given to Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra. A curfew was also imposed in the vicinity of the Congress headquarters. Congress workers were being arrested from nine o’clock in the morning. Without even mentioning the name of ‘ED’, Congress took to the streets and demonstrated its power against the central government and the BJP on public issues like inflation and unemployment.