by IANS |
Mumbai, June 13 (IANS) Hundreds of Maharashtra Congress leaders and activists staged noisy demonstrations outside the Enforcement Directorate (ED) offices in Mumbai and Nagpur to protest against the central agency's attempts to implicate Congress President Sonia Gandhi and MP Rahul Gandhi in alleged false cases, here on Monday.
The leaders and activists gathering near the ED offices in the state capital and the second capital (Nagpur), shouted slogans against the BJP, ED, and flayed attempts to muzzle the Opposition parties.
Leading the agitation, state party President Nana Patole slammed the BJP government at the Centre for pursuing 'political vendetta' against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and MP Rahul Gandhi as part of its conspiracy to 'silence the Opposition parties' by misusing central probe agencies.
"In tune with this ploy, the ED has served notices to Soniaji and Rahulji to trap them in a fake case. The BJP is working in violation of the democratic principles and the Constitution. The Centre has turned agencies like ED, CBI, IT, NCB into its puppets and are deploying them to crush the Opposition parties' voice," said Patole.
The Congress chief said as part of BJP's designs, opposition parties or their senior leaders across the country in non-BJP ruled states are being systematically targeted, raided and action is being taken against them.
"The Congress has been consistently raising its voice against these oppressive, tyrannical and arbitrary tactics of BJP. Last year, we took to the streets to oppose the three black agriculture laws, inflation, unemployment and other burning issues," Patole said.
Besides Patole, the protesters included Congress Legislative Party Leader and Minister Balasaheb Thorat, other ministers Ashok Chavan, Amit Deshmukh, K.C. Padvi, Nitin Raut, Vijay Wadettiwar, Yashomati Thakur, Sunil Kedar, Aslam Shaikh, Satej Patil, Vishwajeet Kadam.
Also joining the protests were Mumbai Congress President Bhai Jagtap, State Working Presidents Naseem Khan, Basavaraj Patil, Shivajirao Moghe, Chandrakant Handore, MLAs Praniti Shinde, Suresh Dhanorkar, Kunal Patil, MPs Rajnitai Patil and Kumar Ketkar, Atul Londhe, and leaders of various wings and of the party.
Later, Mumbai Police rounded up several leaders including Patole and Jagtap, which the Congress termed as "pressures on the police" to scuttle the anti-Centre agitation.
The Opposition BJP state President Chandrakant Patil flayed the Congress protests terming them as attempts to browbeat the central probe agencies but it would not have any impact.