Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was questioned for more than nine hours by the Enforcement Directorate and after 9pm on Monday in connection with a money laundering case linked to the National Herald. Party sources said that his demand for his dismissal was again before the Central Agency on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Congress showed a massive show of force when Rahul Gandhi walked into the emergency office in the morning. He was accompanied by a group of party leaders and supporters, even as Congress workers across the country took to the streets in protest of the ED action against Gandhi.
The emergency department allowed him to go for lunch for an hour, during which time Rahul sought permission to visit mother Sonia Gandhi, who has Covid-19 and was admitted to Ganga Ram Hospital in the national capital.
Senior party leaders said the ruling BJP had been using the emergency department to harass the Gandhis, and that the Saffron Party had been abusing central agencies for the past eight years to implement a “policy of revenge” against Sonia Rahul. Opposition leader Malekargon accused the government of abuse of agencies. “They are abusing agencies and harassing people,” he added.
Police massively fortified areas of central Delhi and detained party leaders for violating interdiction orders. Notable among those arrested were Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Jhelot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhubesh Bagel, Congress leaders Mallikargon Kharej, Randeep Surjwala, KC Venugopal, Adair Ranjan Choudhury, Digvijaya Singh, Mukul Wasnik, Jairam Ramesh and many more.
Here are the major updates from Rahul Gandhi’s first appearance before a Central Investigative Agency for interrogation in a case:
- More in-store questioning by Rahul Gandhi
Party sources said senior leader Rahul Gandhi will have to appear before the head of the emergency department again on Tuesday for further questioning. The commander was questioned for nearly nine hours and wrote his statement under Section 50 of the Money Laundering Prevention Act. He is said to have answered questions regarding the establishment of the Young Indian Company, the operations of the National Herald, the loan by Congress to the Associated Journal Limited (AJL) and the transfer of funds within the news media establishment.
- Congress takes to the streets in a ‘Satyagraha’ rally
In a show of immense strength and solidarity with their supreme leader, hundreds of Congress workers in Delhi and state capitals took to the streets and several top leaders were arrested, including Rajasthan CM Ashok Gilot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhubesh Bagel, Randeep Surjewala and KC Venugopal. in Delhi. The party had called a ‘Satyagraha’ rally against summoning the ED. The opposition party accused the central government of “trampling on democracy”. Slogans of “Enkilab Zindabad” and “Rahul Tom Sanghharsh Karu Homumari Sath Hein (Rahul fight, we are with you)” were heard while protesters waved placards reading “Satiamev Jayati” (Only truth triumphs) and “You will not be afraid., You will not bow, you will fight for The truth anyway’.
- Chidambaram, Tiwari suffer a fracture; Venugopal “roughly handled”
Former Home Minister P Chidambaram and prominent leader Pramod Tiwari suffered hairline fractures in a fight with Delhi Police. The Congress claimed that the police launched a “mortal attack” on its leader, Venugopal, who was dragged as he was being taken to Tughlaq Road police station as caught on cameras. Chidambaram said three large, burly policemen bumped into him and he was lucky to escape a “suspected crack in my hair”. However, Delhi Police said that although no injuries were known due to the use of force, they would seriously investigate any complaint and take appropriate action.
- 26 deputies and five out of 459 detainees
Delhi police said 26 lawmakers and five out of 459 people had been arrested. She added that all the women and staff have been released. The Congress criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for “not allowing” peaceful protest, and vowed to continue his incitement.
- BJP responds
In response to the comments of Congress leaders accusing the BJP of misusing central agencies and suppressing dissent, Saffron criticized the big old party and alleged that its leaders were lobbying ED, supporting corruption and protecting the alleged assets of Rs 2,000 crore to the Gandhi family. Union Minister Smriti Irani said no one was above the law “not even Rahul Gandhi” and said Congress was doing so as his corrupt practices were exposed.
- Rahul, Priyanka meet Sonia Gandhi in hospital
During lunch break while in ED office, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited their mother Sonia Gandhi at Ganga Ram Hospital, a day after she was admitted there due to post-Covid issues. “Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi visited the hospital in the afternoon and met Sonia Gandhi,” a hospital source said.
- Rahul Gandhi with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
In the morning when Rahul Gandhi arrived at the emergency office, he was accompanied by Sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and accompanied by armed personnel of the Reserve Police Force. He drove from party headquarters on Akbar Road to the emergency office in a convoy of seven cars after walking some distance with his supporters.
- Heavy barricades in central Delhi
All roads to the emergency office in central Delhi were fortified as police refused to allow Rahul Gandhi’s supporters to hold a protest rally. The Delhi Police have also imposed provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code to prohibit gathering and entry of persons on the roads leading to the ED office. A large number of Delhi Police and Central Paramilitary forces were deployed along roads and side lanes in Central Delhi.
What is it all about?
The ED investigation relates to alleged financial irregularities in Young Indian that are being promoted by Congress and which owns the National Herald. The National Herald is published by AJL and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited.
(with PTI input)
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