New Delhi: The tussle between the CBI director and the agency’s special director and the subsequent ‘removal’ of the former in late-night action has provided the Congress enough to attack the Centre with. The Congress, to make the most of the situation, would now be holding protests across the country on Friday, October 26, demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also the reinstatement of CBI director Alok Verma, said reports on Thursday.

While senior party leaders would be protesting at the CBI Headquarters in the national capital, state-level leaders would do so outside the CBI offices in their respective states.  Party sources told PTI that they would ask the Prime Minister to apologise to the nation for “illegal and unconstitutional” sending on leave of the CBI director.

A late-night order on Tuesday by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, led by PM Modi, sent Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana, who were at loggerheads, on leave. The Government also transferred several CBI officials and appointed M Nageswar Rao as the interim chief of the agency.  The next day, Verma moved the Supreme Court challenging the Government’s decision after which the apex court agreed to hear his plea on Friday.

Terming Verma’s removal as “illegal”, Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had said, “A scared and panic-stricken PMO forced the CBI Director to go on leave at 2 a.m. and transferred a dozen officers, to frantically bury the corruption track.” The party alleged that the move was triggered by the Modi government’s fear that its “dirty secrets” in the Rafale scam will come out.

Attacking the Government, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that the decision was taken so as to stop Verma from investigating the Rafale scam. Referring to PM Modi as “Mr 56”, Rahul alleged that by removing Verma, the PM broke the law when he bypassed Chief Justice of India and Leader of Opposition who were in the panel which selected the CBI chief.