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Friday, Oct 07, 2022

National Herald case: Sonia Gandhi to appear before ED for questioning today; Congress stages nationwide protests

While senior party leaders will converge at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi for the protests, Congress MPs may stage a protest in Parliament.

Congress party workers protesting ED probe against Sonia Gandhi at AICC headquarters in New Delhi Thursday. (Express/Amit Mehra)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will Thursday appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering investigation the agency is carrying out into the affairs of the National Herald newspaper.

The Congress, which has called the ED’s action against its top leadership a “political vendetta”, is holding nationwide protests today.

Party leaders converged at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi for the protests. The leaders were seen raising slogans and extending their support to their party chief. Congress MPs may stage a protest in Parliament. In fact, sources told The Indian Express, that Congress even requested Opposition parties to join their protest in solidarity.

Jairam Ramesh, AICC general secretary in-charge of communication, Wednesday said the entire party would demonstrate across the country in solidarity with Sonia Gandhi, in “a most telling manner”.

“Tomorrow as the political vendetta unleashed by the Modi-Shah duo against our top leadership continues, the entire Congress party across the country will demonstrate its collective solidarity with Smt. Sonia Gandhi in a most telling manner,” he said on Twitter.

According to news agency PTI, party leaders including MPs will march towards the ED office, while the Delhi Congress will stage a protest march outside Raj Bhawan.

A meeting of senior party leaders was held at the residence of Mallikarjun Kharge to chalk out the party’s strategy for dealing with the “misuse” of the ED against Sonia by the Modi government.

“The entire Congress family is standing firmly with its president Sonia Gandhi and tomorrow a protest against the dictatorial rule of BJP will be lodged in the whole country,” the party said Wednesday via its Twitter handle. Congress leaders and workers will also be staging protests outside the offices of the ED in different state capitals, it added.

Earlier, Congress leaders and workers, including party MPs, had protested and courted arrest when Rahul Gandhi appeared before the ED in the same case and was questioned for several days.

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The ED cases is based on a trial court order that allowed the Income Tax Department to probe the affairs of National Herald newspaper and conduct a tax assessment of Sonia and her son Rahul Gandhi. The order was the result of a petition filed by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.

Delhi Police stopping media from entering party headquarters: Congress

Jairam Ramesh Thursday claimed the Delhi Police was preventing the media from entering the Congress party headquarters.

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“From the early hours of this morning the Delhi Police—obviously taking orders from the Union Home Minister—is preventing the media from entering the Congress party headquarters. This high-handedness was only to be expected and reflects the mindset of the Modi Sarkar,” he tweeted.

First published on: 21-07-2022 at 08:40:09 am
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