The Congress party on Thursday took up the cudgels against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, accusing it of using central agencies such as the CBI and ED as "personal revenge-seeking departments", a day after former union minister P. Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI in the INX media case.
Addressing a press conference, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said India had over the last two days witnessed "the broad daylight murder of democracy as also the rule of law."
He further said that while many accused in the INX Media case have not been arrested, a senior politician has been arrested without any legal basis.
"Government is using CBI, ED as personal revenge-seeking departments for the party in power as also those ruling country", Surjewala charged.
"A seasoned politician was arrested on the statement of a woman charged with the murder of her own daughter," Surjewala said referring to Indrani Mukherjea.
He further alleged that "false charges" were being heaped on senior political rivals to "silence" everyone in the country.
The grand old party has backed its veteran leader with almost all the senior leaders lashing out at the Centre.
On Wednesday night, Surjewala had termed "shameless witch-hunt" and said, "democracy stands dead at the hands of BJP".
"The shameless witch-hunt & unheard of abuse of CBI/ED by Modi Govt 2.0 is playing on every TV screen in India. It's a sham and shame that democracy stands dead in the hands of the BJP," Surjewala said in a tweet.
Before his arrest from his residence, Chidambaram appeared at the Congress headquarters and addressed a press conference where he was flanked by senior party leaders Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge, Salman Khurshid, Vivek Tankha and KC Venugopal.
Rejecting reports of his evading the law, he said that the charges against him and his son were "nothing further from the truth".
He said he was working with his lawyers through the last night, preparing his papers for his bail application, which was filed before the Supreme Court earlier.
"Respect for law can mean only one thing, wait for Supreme Court justice on Friday," he said, suggesting that the probe agencies should not arrest him until the apex court decides on his bail plea.
(With inputs from agencies)