The Congress on Wednesday said it is not afraid of any summons by the Enforcement Directorate in the National Herald case and will not be cowed down by any such ”vendetta” by the BJP government.
Congress leaders Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Randeep Surjewala said party president Sonia Gandhi has been summoned by the ED for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper on June 8, and she was determined to appear before the agency as she has nothing to hide.
They said former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has also been summoned, and that he has written to the probe agency to postpone the date to after June 5 as he is not in the country.
”The Modi government should know that by registering such fake and fabricated cases, they cannot succeed in their cowardly conspiracy,” Singhvi told reporters.
Neither will the EC be able to stop the National Herald, the voice of the freedom movement, nor will it be able to scare Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, he said.
”The Congress leadership is fearless and ready to present itself before the probe agency. We will not be afraid of such tactics, we will not bow down, but we will fight hard legally, socially, and politically,” Singhvi added.
Surjewala said under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the entire party and its workers would stand shoulder to shoulder with them, and ”we will fight and win this attack on the country’s democracy”.
The two Congress leaders said the main mantra of the newspaper which became the ”voice of the freedom movement” was: ”Freedom is in danger, protect it with all your might.” ”Today again, the ideology supporting the British rule is conspiring to suppress the ‘voice of the freedom movement’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is at the head of this conspiracy, and his ‘ favorite and pet weapon’ to implement it is the ED,” Surjewala claimed He said the summons have been issued to mislead the country as the Modi government specializes in the politics of diverting issues and has been blinded by the feeling of revenge.
The ED issued the summons to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday.
While Sonia Gandhi, 75, has been asked to depose before the federal agency on June 8, Rahul Gandhi is understood to have been asked to appear earlier.
The case to probe alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper was registered recently.
The agency, officials said, wants to record the statements of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The National Herald is published by Associated Journals Limited (ALJ) and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited.
The agency recently questioned senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal as part of the investigation. The questioning of the senior Congress leaders and the Gandhis is part of ED’s investigation to understand the shareholding pattern, financial transactions, and role of the promoters of Young Indian and ALJ, the officials said.
The agency registered a fresh case under the criminal provisions of the PMLA after a trial court here took cognizance of an Income Tax Department probe against Young Indian Pvt Ltd based on a private criminal complaint filed by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.