“Why harass the poor woman”: Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sonia Gandhi’s ED questioning
Sonia Gandhi is being questioned for alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian, which owns the National Herald newspaper
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad came out in support of party president Sonia Gandhi over her questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged National Herald money laundering case.
“Why harass the poor woman?”, he said while addressing media persons on Wednesday.
“In earlier times, when wars were fought, the ground rule was to not attack women and the sick… This is a tradition that was taken care of during battles. I would like to request the government and ED to keep this in mind and not summon Mrs. Gandhi in her condition”, he said.
He added that when the central agency has all the documents required and has questioned son Rahul Gandhi for “several dozen hours” then “why harass the poor woman?”
Gandhi, who was recently down with Covid-19, is being questioned for 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.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, who was also part of the press conference, said that there is an “ED terror” that exists in the country. “You can imagine where our democracy is headed,” he further said.
The senior party leader alleged that the government is misusing the powers of ED to displace elected governments, as was the case in Maharashtra last month.
Another senior Congress leader Anand Sharma shed light on the importance of fundamental rights.
“The issue is not about summoning or questioning. What is important for everyone to understand that India being a constitutional democracy while respecting and implementing the laws, we must also respect the fundamental rights not only justice but right to reputation,” the former minister said.
“What has become a disturbing trend is that laws have become more and more draconian... weaponisation of laws and their use to target and humiliate should not take place”, he added.
Taking a swipe at Congress, union minister Anurag Thakur earlier said that the party was agitating to “save the corrupt”.
BJP spokespersons were unavailable to comment on the matter.
On Tuesday, the party president was questioned for six hours in the National Herald case and party workers across the country continued their protest against the government and ED’s probe. 50 parliamentarians including Rahul Gandhi were detained on Tuesday.