Saturday, October 1, 2022

Rahul Gandhi sits on road in protest as Sonia Gandhi questioned by ED

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Rahul Gandhi, the Congress leader, was spotted sitting on the road at Vijay Chowk, as some of the party’s MPs were held by police during their protest march from Parliament.

This comes as Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi is being questioned for the second time in connection with the National Herald case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The march to Rashtrapati Bhavan was halted at Vijay Chowk for all Congress MPs.

“We’re protesting as per the instruction of the police. All of this is a conspiracy by PM Modi & Amit Shah to completely destroy the Opposition and muzzle our voices. We won’t be scared, our fight will continue,” Congress leader and LoP Mallikarjun Kharge said.

“We had demanded that there be discussion in Parliament on inflation, unemployment, Agnipath & misuse of agencies. Govt rejected it. We said we’ll protest at Rajghat on this, but weren’t permitted. We said that we’ll give memorandum to President. They didn’t permit,” Deepender Hooda said.

Sonia Gandhi arrived to the ED office in the national capital, accompanied by her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Rahul Gandhi, the Congress leader, also appeared at the ED headquarters.

The first round of interrogation took place on July 21, when numerous Congress officials were jailed as the party staged statewide demonstrations in favour of the party leadership.

Sonia Gandhi was asked by the ED on June 1 to appear before its investigators in the case for the first time in connection with a money laundering investigation involving the National Herald.

On June 8 and again on June 21, the agency issued identical summonses to Sonia Gandhi investigators.

Sonia Gandhi was unable to attend for interrogation after testing positive for Covid-19 and being hospitalised. The Congress leader suffered a minor fever on June 1 evening and tested positive for COVID-19 the next morning.

She had requested extra time to appear before the agency after being released from the hospital.

Both of Sonia Gandhi’s remarks are being investigated by the ED under criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED questioned Rahul Gandhi in the matter many times last month.

A trial court took cognizance of an Income Tax Department inquiry conducted on the basis of a private criminal complaint submitted by a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP in 2013.

The petitioner had filed a complaint with the court alleging that the assets of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which published the National Herald newspaper, were fraudulently acquired and transferred to Young Indian Pvt Limited (YIL), in which Sonia Gandhi and her son each owned 38% of the company.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are among the YIL promoters. Swamy said that the Gandhis deceived and misused cash, claiming that YIL paid merely Rs 50 lakh to secure the right to reclaim Rs 90.25 crore owing to Congress by AJL.

According to Section 25 of the Companies Act of 1956, YIL is a not-for-profit business that cannot accrue profits or pay dividends to its shareholders.

Calling it a case of political vendetta, senior Supreme Court advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi had said, “This is truly a very weird case — an alleged money laundering case on which summons are issued with no money involved.”

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