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The Congress on Thursday criticised the Modi-led BJP government for “misusing” central agencies against opposition leaders.

The grand old party, which held massive protests against the Enforcement Directorate‘s questioning of Sonia Gandhi, alleging that the ruling dispensation was treating the opposition as its enemies. Gandhi appeared before the ED here for questioning in the National Herald money laundering case.

Senior Congress leaders courted arrest outside the party headquarters here to protest the ED action against the party Supremo.

Condemning the ED action against Gandhi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the probe agency should first hold a press conference to spell out under what charges Sonia Gandhi is being probed.

“The ED should have gone to her residence to take her responses to their questions,” he said, adding that this is being done to “harass” the Congress leader.

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that the Rae Bareli MP was a target of ‘Vishguru’s’ political vendetta.

“All Congress MPs and CWC members have courted mass arrest outside our party headquarters in a show of collective solidarity with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, a target of ‘Vishguru’s’ political vendetta. We are being taken away to a police station in Old Delhi evidently,” he said.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said the ED is not higher than the Supreme Court.

“What is that the ED wants to ‘investigate’ that will not be examined by the SC,” he asked.

“The ED is overreaching the SC and trying to intimidate the Congress party. The Congress party will not bow down to the intimidation,” he alleged.

Another leader Pawan Khera also said that the government brings in its agencies whenever it feels cornered.

“The conspiracy is to silence us and the aim is to make the country opposition-free,” he alleged.

Earlier, Ramesh also alleged that media was also not allowed to enter the party headquarters. “From the early hours of this morning the Delhi Police-obviously taking orders from the Union Home Minister-is preventing the media from entering the Congress party headquarters. This high-handedness was only to be expected and reflects the mindset of the Modi Sarkar,” he wrote on microblogging site Twitter.

Gehlot also alleged that the area around the Congress headquarters here has been turned into a cantonment and no one is being allowed entry.

“They consider the opposition as their enemies and the target is to make the country opposition-free. Earlier their slogan was to make it ‘Congress-mukt’,” he said.

The Rajasthan CM also said that the government was using ED as a “big weapon to bring down governments of opposition” parties.

Not only in the national capital, Congress also held protests across the country.

Meanwhile, leaders of various political parties, including the DMK, CPI-M, CPI, NC, TRS, MDMK, NCP and Shiv Sena, also issued a joint statement to condemn the ED action against Gandhi.

“The government was unleashing a relentless campaign against its political opponents through mischievous misuse of probe agencies,” they said in a statement.

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