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BJP in a state of panic, says Congress over ED raid on Robert Vadra

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that there had never been such a “terror raj in the constitutional rule” of India.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2018 23:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi addresses a press conference at AICC in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)

The Congress on Saturday said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in a “state of panic of the highest degree” and sensing election defeats using “high-handed tactics” to threaten its opponents, stepping up its attack over raids carried out by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on employees and associates of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told a news conference at the party headquarters in Delhi that there had never been such a “terror raj in the constitutional rule” of India.

“We fought the British Raj and the BJP would do well to know that the day of judgement will come for it,” he said.

The ED carried out raids and searches on Friday in connection with its probe into alleged “commissions received by some suspects in defence deals” and illegal assets stashed abroad.

The agency said it was conducting investigations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in cases related to ownership of undisclosed assets abroad. “As part of these investigations, the directorate has carried out search operations on 7 December 2018 under PMLA at a number of premises in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru by issue of search warrants under Section 17 of PMLA,” it said in a statement on , without naming anyone.

On Friday, the Congress had alleged that the raids and searches were carried out without first information reports being filed or search warrants being issued and accused the government of “letting loose a criminal conspiracy to denigrate and malign” Vadra “to settle personal and political scores”. The raids coincided with the final phase of polling (covering Telangana and Rajasthan) in the latest round of state assembly elections in five states.

Singhvi said: “They are afraid of the Congress and its values, so they are threatening people and using high-handed tactics against those who are relatives of our leaders or are associated with them.”

“This is called character assassination by innuendos and insinuations. When they do not have facts, this is what they will do,” he said.

Other senior Congress leaders, Kapil Sibal and Ahmed Patel, too hit out at the government and said the Prime Minister’s Office was using government agencies for “political vendetta and besmirching the names of people who are living with dignity in this country”.

Singhvi said that the BJP was in a “state of panic of the highest degree”, sensing rejection from the people in the just-concluded assembly elections in five states.

“The word panic would be an understatement and all these raids and searches against various people are nothing but a ploy to divert the attention of the people from the real issues and the BJP’s failures.”

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Congress was trying to turn corruption into a revolution. Naqvi termed the party a group of “revolutionaries of corruption”.

Singhvi claimed that the searches were carried out in violation of laws. “We have nothing against any particular person, but we are talking about principles. No Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) of the FIR has been shared, no search warrant issued, no access to lawyers, and detained persons were also physically roughed up,” he said.

The ED, however, said: “These searches have been carried out as per the prescribed procedure. Documents and digital evidence seized during these searches are being examined. Further investigations are in progress.”

First Published: Dec 08, 2018 23:10 IST