Congress Plans Show Of Strength On June 13 When Rahul Appears Before ED

| Updated: 08 June, 2022 7:34 pm IST

NEW DELHI: In a show of strength for the former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who will be appearing before the Enforcement Directorate, ED) on June 13 in connection with the National Herald money laundering case, the party has asked all the party MPs to be present in Delhi.

According to Congress leaders, the party has asked all the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs to be stationed in Delhi on June 13, when Rahul Gandhi will visit the ED headquarters for questioning.

Reacting to the development, Congress Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore in a series of tweets said, “On 13th when an innocent & Honest Man will appear before the Narender Modi & Shah guided ED got their brief to insult him in a room with no one for 4 to 6 hours and then ask him to write & go. As Member of Parliament is not my duty to protest the illegal act by (Amit) Shah / (Narendra) Modi?”

In another tweet, Tagore, who is considered close to Rahul Gandhi said, “If Shah/ Modi don’t like you … without an FIR they can ask ED to issue notice to you… This must stop. This hate must stop.”

The ED summoned Rahul Gandhi for questioning on June 13. He was first asked to appear on June 2. Rahul Gandhi had requested the ED for another date citing his abroad visit.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi did not appear before the ED for questioning as she was yet to recover from COVID.

As per the party sources, Sonia Gandhi submitted her Covid report with the ED and asked for another date for questioning.

Speaking to media at the party headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “We are a law-abiding party. We follow rules. So, if they have been summoned, of course, they will go. We have nothing to hide”.

He also took a jibe at Union Home Minister Amit Shah and said, we are not like them. “We remember when Amit Shah was running around from 2002 to 2013,” he said. “They will learn some lessons from us on what kind of people who adhere to the path of truth are,” Khera added.

The ED once again registered a fresh case about nine months ago after a trial court in Delhi took cognisance of an Income Tax Department probe carried out on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by former BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, in 2013.

Swamy claimed that YIL “took over” the assets of the defunct print media outlet in a “malicious” manner to gain profit and assets worth over Rs 2,000 crore.

The BJP leader also alleged that YIL had paid Rs 50 lakh to obtain the rights to recover Rs 90.25 crore which AJL owed the Congress party.

The amount was given as a loan to start the newspaper. He also alleged that the loan given to AJL was “illegal”, as it had been taken from party funds.

In 2014, the ED initiated a probe to see if there was any money laundering in the case.

It is pertinent to note that in 2020, the ED had attached one of the most prime properties in Mumbai’s Bandra under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). The said property, with market value to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees, was illegally allotted to AJL.

Seven accused in the case – veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora, AICC general secretary Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda, YI and the Gandhis – have all denied accusations against them.

Earlier this year in April, the ED questioned senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and the party’s treasurer and former Union Minister Pawan Bansal in connection with the case.

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