Congress to protest nationwide against ED summons to Sonia Gandhi in National Herald case

On July 21, the day Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi is expected to testify before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the National Herald case, Congress leaders resolved in a meeting on Wednesday to stage nationwide protests against the BJP-led Central Government.

The party has scheduled another important meeting for today (Thursday). The general secretaries, state in-charges, and PCC leaders will review the “Bharat Jodo Yatra” and other organizational initiatives.

Top officials will discuss the protest march and other public engagement initiatives at the meeting.

The Congress MPs will use the chance to protest within the Parliament buildings when the Monsoon Session of Parliament begins on July 18.

After the meeting, Congressman Mallikarjun Kharge spoke to ANI and stated, “Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Congress, is a tigress. These things do not frighten her. She has seen several instances like this. She will confront this government by going to the ED office.”

Sonia Gandhi, the interim president of the Congress, has been called in by the Enforcement Directorate to testify in connection with the National Herald case, in which senior Congressmen Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal have previously been questioned.

READ MORE: 1 Dead, 2 Injured In Landslide In Palghar, Maharashtra

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) also questioned former Congress President and Wayanad Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi in the case last month in June for more than five days. During that time, Congress Party leaders and workers protested against the ED and the BJP-led Centre for engaging in “vendetta politics.”

The party leaders and workers also expressed their displeasure with the “brutal” behavior of Delhi police officers who reportedly forced their way into the Congress headquarters in Delhi and mistreated several party members.

Sources claim that the party has also written booklets on the National Herald case to be distributed to the general public.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha, KC Venugopal, Pawan Bansal, Mukul Wasnik, Ajay Maken, Randeep Surjewala, Bhawar Jitendra Singh, and Shaktisinh Gohil, a Rajya Sabha MP and AICC in-charge of Delhi, were all present at today’s meeting.

According to official sources, Sonia Gandhi has been called to meet with the investigators on July 21 at approximately 11 am at its headquarters.

Sonia Gandhi received a new summons because she was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 and could not appear before its investigators on June 8 concerning a money laundering case involving the National Herald.

The ED is seeking Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s statements for recording following the penalties of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Rahul Gandhi was questioned by the ED many times last month over the matter.

About nine months ago, a trial judge took cognizance of an Income Tax Department investigation conducted in response to a 2013 private criminal complaint, leading to the registration of the case to examine suspected financial irregularities under the PMLA.

The petitioner had filed a case with the court, stating that Young Indian Pvt Limited (YIL), in which Sonia Gandhi and her son each controlled 38% of the shares, had unlawfully purchased the assets of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which published the National Herald daily.

Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress, and Rahul Gandhi are YIL’s promoters. Swamy claimed that the Gandhis misused money and committed financial fraud, alleging that YIL merely paid $50,000 to secure the right to reclaim the $90.25 million AJL owed to Congress.

According to Section 25 of the Companies Act of 1956, Congress claimed that YIL was a not-for-profit organization that could not generate profits or provides dividends to its stockholders.

Senior Supreme Court attorney and Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi had described it as a case of political revenge. They said, “This is a very bizarre case — an alleged money laundering case on which summons are issued with no money involved.”

The federal agency’s action came after top Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal were questioned in New Delhi in April of this year about its money laundering investigation into the National Herald case.

The agency recorded the remarks made by both Congress leaders at that time under the PMLA. AJL publishes The National Herald, which YIL owns. Bansal is the Managing Director of AJL, while Kharge is the CEO of YIL.

The ED is now looking into the ownership structure, financial transactions, and officials’ involvement in AJL and YIL’s operation.