‘Sinister strategy’: Cong plans protests over Sonia Gandhi’s questioning by ED today

Published on Jul 21, 2022 09:00 AM IST

The Delhi Traffic Police issued an advisory asking people to avoid certain stretches that are likely to be affected due to the protests organised by the Congress to coincide with Sonia Gandhi’s questioning by ED in Delhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is expected to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Delhi today in connection with a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper. (PTI File Photo)
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is expected to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Delhi today in connection with a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper. (PTI File Photo)

NEW DELHI: As party president Sonia Gandhi heads into the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in central Delhi on Thursday, Congress workers in Delhi and elsewhere in the country will hold protests against the federal agency’s move to summon their leader in connection with a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper.

“This issue (ED summons to Sonia Gandhi) relates to an overall sinister strategy to ensure that the Opposition is involved in unnecessary controversies rather than raising the voice of people effectively… For the sake of democracy and saving our Constitution, we appeal that every opposition party ideologically opposed to the BJP must join our protest,” said party spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill.

Also Read: The legal history of National Herald Case, charges against Gandhis | Explained

The case relates to alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian, which owns the National Herald newspaper. The agency registered a new case under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after a trial court in Delhi took cognisance of an Income Tax department investigation into Young Indian Pvt Ltd on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed in 2013.

In June, Sonia’s son and Wayanad MP, Rahul Gandhi was also questioned for five days in this case. At a public meeting in Kerala later, Gandhi said he viewed the ED investigation against him as a badge of honour. “After I left, I was wondering why they only interrogated me for five days, why not 10 days. I thought maybe I’m not opposing them strongly enough...it is quite clear that anybody who opposes the BJP faces ED. I view my five days of interrogation like a medal, and I am hoping that they do it again 3,4,5,6,10 times,” he said.

Shergill added that the Congress will also hold protests in all state headquarters against the “arbitrary excessive use of power” by the saffron party. He alleged that the Delhi Police has sealed off the road around the All India Congress Committee’s headquarters in the city.

Police officers in Delhi said adequate security and traffic arrangements have been made in view of the ongoing Parliament session to deal with any situation that may arise due to the protests over the Congress chief’s questioning. Similar protests were organised by the Congress when Rahul Gandhi was grilled too.

Late last evening, the Delhi Traffic Police asked commuters to avoid routes that may be hit by the protests. “Kindly avoid Motilal Nehru Marg, Akbar Road, Janpath & Man Singh Road between 0900 hrs & 1400 hrs on 21.07.22. Due to special arrangements, traffic movement will not be possible on these roads,” the traffic police added.

Police added that inward movement of buses will be restricted in New Delhi beyond Gol Dak Khana junction, Patel Chowk, Windsor Place, Teen Murti Chowk, and Prithviraj Road. Commuters have also been asked to avoid Gol Methi junction, Tughlak Road Junction, Claridges Junction, Q-point Junction, Sunehri Masjid Junction, Maulana Azad Road Junction & Man Singh Road Junction between 9am and 2pm.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacked the Congress, recalling that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Gujarat chief minister and was required to appear before the special investigation team in the Gujarat riots case, there were no protests. “What is the Congress afraid of if they (Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi) are not guilty?” asked BJP spokesperson Tom Vadakkan.

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