Rahul Gandhi to lead protest outside CBI headquarters today

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New Delhi : Stepping up its attack over the midnight removal of CBI Director Alok Verma, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said he would lead a protest outside agency's headquarters in the national capital on Friday.

He said the party would also protest outside all the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) offices across the country.

"Tomorrow, outside CBI offices nationwide, the Congress party will protest the Prime Minister's ( Narendra Modi) disgraceful attempt to prevent an investigation into the Rafale scam by removing the CBI Chief," Gandhi said.

Gandhi said he would lead the protest outside the CBI hadquarters in south Delhi's Lodhi road area at 11 a.m.

Earlier in the day Gandhi sharpened his attack on Modi, saying Verma was "removed in panic" because he was going to begin a probe into the controversial Rafale deal that would have been "suicidal" for Modi. The BJP has said that the Congress chief was spreding falsehood over the issue.

In a dramatic midnight action, the government on Wednesday divested CBI chief Verma of his charge and made Joint Director M. Nageshwar Rao interim director.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) took the decision past midnight as war between CBI chief Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana escalated over bribery allegations hurled at each other.

Asthana was also divested of all supervisory charges on Tuesday.