The Congress on Wednesday launched a blistering attack at the Centre over heightened police activity outside the AICC headquarters and party chief Sonia Gandhi‘s residence, following the Enforcement Directorate sealing the premises of Young Indian (YI) in Congress-owned National Herald office in New Delhi.
Addressing a hurriedly-convened press conference at the party office in the evening, Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Ajay Maken and Abhishek Singhvi alleged that the party was “under siege” by the government which, it said, surrounded the residences of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as if they were “terrorists”. The leaders stated that the party will not be intimidated by this kind of “cheap and petty politics” and will continue to raise people’s issues.
The latest turn of events came a day after the ED conducted search operations at Herald House in connection with its money laundering probe in the National Herald case. Herald House is the registered office address of Associate Journals Limited (AJL), the National Herald newspaper’s publisher, which is under probe over its acquisition by Young Indian, a firm linked to the Gandhi family.
Here are the top quotes by the Congress leaders
◾ Ajay Maken: “All India Congress Committee (AICC) issued a nationwide protest circular on August 5 against inflation, unemployment and GST on food items. As part of the protests, we will hold demonstrations at Raj Bhavans in all states. Apart from this, party MPs will also take out a march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and gherao the Prime Minister’s residence.”
◾ “Today we received a letter from DCP that we can’t protest on August 5. By evening, the AICC headquarters was turned into a Police cantonment. The government can suppress us as much as they want, but we will protest against inflation, unemployment, GST on edible items. We will go ahead with our schedule even if jailed,” Maken said.
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 3, 2022
◾ “What was the purpose of the police bandobast at AICC headquarters, 10 Janpath and 12 Tughlaq Lane? This was just to put pressure on us so that we don’t raise the voice of the public,” Maken said.
◾ Singhvi said: “The BJP is now trying to mislead the people so that there is no talk on unemployment and inflation in newspapers.”
◾ “We are seeing an open-ended investigation for events that happened 10 years ago. They are acting with a siege mentality and that too in the heart of the capital of the world’s largest democracy. Can you believe it? India – the proud largest democracy in the world has a siege mentality,” Singhvi said.
◾ “There are platoons everywhere, and for what? The only sole objective of this exercise are humiliation, insult, and intimidation at one level and diversion, digression, and sensationalism at the other,” Singhvi added.
◾ He further said “Rahul Gandhi was questioned for over 50 hours and the Congress president for several days. More than 200 questions were put together. If the most ingenious and imaginative minds were to ask questions, there can’t be more than 10-12 questions.”
◾ “What is happening today is politics of vengeance and intimidation. But there is a saying that goes Vinash Kale Viprit Buddhi (When the time of one’s destruction comes, their mind thinks the opposite of what it should). This time inflation, unemployment and GST are going to become factors of destruction,” Jairam Ramesh said.
◾ “The Modi government ran away from the discussion on inflation in Parliament for two weeks. Now, the Home Minister and the Delhi Police are trying to stop us from holding protests,” Ramesh said.
◾ “The way our leaders and offices are guarded by the police show that this is politics of fear. This is not a democratic way. We will not run. We will definitely organise peaceful protests on August 5,” Ramesh said.