Congress turns Rahul Gandhi's ED questioning into show of strength
Section 144 was imposed around the agency's office, which is not far from the Congress headquarters
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi's questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the National Herald case on Monday was turned into a show of strength by his party.
The who's who of the Congress' top guard hit the streets in the national capital along with party workers to express solidarity with him.
Senior party leaders, including the party's two chief ministers Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel, members of the Congress Working Committee, Members of Parliament, AICC General Secretaries and state in charges arrived at the party headquarters ahead of Rahul's march to the ED office.
The approach routes to the party office were barricaded and there was heavy police presence as the Delhi Police had not given permission to the party to conduct a march of leaders and workers along with Rahul to the ED office.
Section 144 was imposed around the agency's office, which is not far from the Congress headquarters.
Rahul began his march to the agency's office from the party headquarters accompanied by sister, AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Senior leaders and workers who attempted to join him were detained by the police.
Among the leaders who were stopped by the police as they tried to march along with Rahul and were taken into detention included Gehlot, Baghel, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and party MPs Jairam Ramesh, Randeep Singh Surjewala, K C Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Gaurav Gogoi and others.
Venugopal, the party claimed, was manhandled by the police in the process of being detained and taken to Tughlaq Road Police station.
The party released pictures of Venugopal with his shirt torn and looking uneasy, being provided with medical assistance at the police station.
Priyanka visited the police station to meet the leaders detained there.
Ahead of the questioning by the ED, posters and banners pledging support to Rahul were placed at the party office.
They carried slogans such as 'Satya Jhukega Nahi', 'Satyamev Jayate' and 'Main Bhi Rahul'. It was after a long time that the party headquarters was abuzz with activity as senior leaders and workers descended on it prior to the questioning.
Party leaders believe that with the Modi government going for the kill by targeting the top leadership, the only option left is to deal with it aggressively.
It was this line of thought that resulted in the party deciding to turn Rahul's ED questioning into a show of strength and an occasion for party workers and leaders to hit the streets.
The Congress' 'Satyagraha' in Delhi against the alleged misuse of the ED against its top leadership was accompanied by dharnas by party leaders and workers across the country.
The party claims that the Modi government is acting out of a sense of political vendetta and there is no basis on which the case is being carried forward.
The agency had earlier this month issued summons to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul in connection with allegations of misappropriation of funds of National Herald.
Sonia is scheduled to appear before the ED on June 23.