‘ED, Modi Down Down’: Opposition Protests Alleged ‘Misuse’ of Central Probe Agencies

Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury tried to raise the issue of alleged 'misuse' of the ED by the Union government in parliament. However, Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the Chair, didn't allow him to speak.

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New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday, August 3 witnessed protests by Opposition members over various issues, including raids at the premises of the National Herald newspaper in connection with a money laundering probe.

While Congress and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) stood in the well of the House, raising slogans like “ED, Modi down down” and “Narendra Modi jawab do”, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MPs and a few Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs stood near their seats to join the protests, the Indian Express reported.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned first at 11:10 am till noon, and then again at 12:15 pm till 2 pm, the report added.

When the Lok Sabha reconvened at 12 noon, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury tried to raise the issue of alleged “misuse” of the ED by the Union government in parliament. However, Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the chair, didn’t grant him permission to speak.

The Indian Express reported that amid the ruckus, DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran was seen persuading senior Congress leaders like Shashi Tharoor and Karti P. Chidambaram to come to the well of the House. At this, Sonia Gandhi stood up and joined the protesters in the Well of the House and asked Chidambaram also to move to the front.

Also read: Modi’s Raid Raj: ‘Janampatri’ Has Emerged as Key Instrument of Power Against the Opposition

Later, Chowdhury told reporters, “The ruling party is not allowing us to raise this issue. Why is the government scared of us putting our point in parliament.”

His remarks come a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the head office of the Congress party-owned National Herald newspaper at on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi. It also raided 11 other locations as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation.

The ED recently questioned Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son and party leader Rahul on the case. Senior Congress politicians like Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal were also questioned by the ED in April.

Congress workers and leaders have held demonstrations across the country, alleging that the ED is harassing the Congress brass as they are in the opposition. Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, were detained during these protests.

Separately, the Supreme Court in its July 27 verdict upheld the changes made to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) by the parliament in 2019, further empowering the central probe agency. The apex court judgment has been criticised by several politicians and former judges.

(With PTI inputs)