If Wednesday witnessed unprecedented midnight action in the history of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) when two of its top bosses were snatched of their powers and sent on forced leave by the government, Thursday added to the drama with four Intelligence Bureau (IB) personnel being picked up from outside the official residence of agency director Alok Verma.
There's more is store on Friday as all eyes will be on the Supreme Court which is slated to hear the plea filed by the Verma against his 'unceremonious' removal.
In his legal challenge before the apex court, Alok Verma also sought stay of the Centre's order asking him to proceed on leave and giving interim charge of his post to M Nageshwar Rao, a 1986 batch Odisha-cadre IPS officer.
Verma's petition is listed for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph. It will come up along with the petition filed by 'Common Cause'.
The CBI chief contended that the decision taken 'overnight' by the Centre and the CVC to divest him of his role as the head of the probe agency was 'patently illegal' and such interference 'erodes' the independence and autonomy of the institution.
Alok Verma, Rakesh Asthana not removed: CBI
Ahead of the hearing in the Supreme Court, the CBI clarified Verma and Rakesh Asthana, who are locked in a bitter feud that triggered the crisis the top agency, will remain its Director and Special Director.
A statement by a CBI spokesman said that appointment of Joint Director M Nageshwar Rao to discharge the duties of the agency director was only an interim arrangement.
The arrangement will continue until the Central Vigilance Commission(CVC) decides on its probe into graft allegations against the CBI's top two officers.
Rahul Gandhi targets PM Modi, BJP hits back
Stepping up attack on PM Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday dubbed the action against top CBI bosses as "illegal" and a "panic reaction" to cover up Rafale deal evidence.
Day before SC hears his plea, CBI says Alok Verma is still director, Rakesh Asthana special director
"The entire country knows that the CBI was about to begin investigation into the role of the prime minister in the Rafale scam. That is why the CBI director was removed at 2 am in the morning. The prime minister was scared that once a CBI investigation into the case starts, he would be finished. In this sense, the PM’s reaction was in panic," Rahul Gandhi told reporters during a press conference in New Delhi.
The BJP hit back saying Rahul Gandhi was "hallucinating" and "manufacturing lies" every day on the jet deal.
"It's an absolute lie... The country has never seen such immature politics," HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
Rahul Gandhi will lead the party as it stages protests outside all CBI offices across the country on Friday, demanding reinstatement of Alok Verma as CBI director.
WATCH: CBI war turns into Congress-BJP slugfest
(With inputs from agencies)