What does ED want to know from Sonia Gandhi?
- In 2010, Congress paid Rs 90.21 crore to AJL. At that time Sonia Gandhi was the President of the party.
- According to ED sources, this money was given in check or cash, Congress leaders could not give proof of this payment.
- The ED has estimated the assets of AJL to be more than Rs 800 crore.
- In 2010, Sonia Gandhi launched Young Indian (YI) which took over 99% of AJL within a few months.
- Young Indian took an unsecured loan of Rs 1 crore from Kolkata-based shell company Dotex Merchandise.
- Out of this, Rs 50 lakh was paid to AJL to take over the company along with all the assets.
- Two directors of Dotex Merchandise recorded statements which became the basis for questioning Sonia and Rahul among others.
- The ED did not find any evidence of expenditure of Rs 90.21 crore by AJL.
- Rahul Gandhi told the ED that only Motilal Vora was aware of all these transactions.
- The Income Tax Department in its assessment order said that ‘loan entry of Rs 90.21 crore was fixed.’
- According to ED sources, being the party president, Sonia should answer how Congress gave Rs 90.21 crore to AJL.
- Taking cognizance of the allegations against Sonia and Rahul, a Delhi court had ordered a trial. The Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court refused to quash the charges against both. Both have been granted bail from the local court on the ground that their security is threatened.
Sources said ED officials were told that Sonia may have to go home to get medicines. Initially, there was talk of coming on Tuesday for the next round of questioning, but Sonia said that they will be followed on Monday also. Agency sources said, ‘In view of the recent Kovid recovery, we had asked them to come on Tuesday as per their convenience. However, he offered to come on Monday and record his statement. The ED has summoned him on July 25. The ED’s interrogation is believed to continue next week and beyond.
On Wednesday evening, a letter was received from the Congress President’s office to the ED officials. It said that she has just recovered from Kovid and requires medicines several times a day. The ED allowed his daughter Priyanka to accompany Sonia. During the interrogation, Priyanka sat near the chamber and kept on taking care of her mother in small breaks.
What questions does ED want answers from Sonia Gandhi?
Understand with NBT
Why is the Enforcement Directorate interrogating Sonia Gandhi?
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing the money laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper. Congress President Sonia Gandhi is being questioned in this connection. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi has already been questioned in this case. The ED said that the statements of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are to be recorded in this case.
What about the National Herald?
The National Herald newspaper was founded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938. The newspaper was owned by Associated Journal Limited (AJL). It used to publish two more newspapers, Navjeevan in Hindi and Qaumi Awaaz in Urdu. The company had a debt of 90 crores. Meanwhile, in the year 2010, another company was formed by the name of Young Indian. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi held 76 percent of its shares and the rest was with Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes. Unable to repay the loan, AJL transferred the entire share to Young Indian. In return, Young Indian gave only Rs 50 lakh.
Who had filed the case?
In 2012, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had filed a case. He alleged that a measure was taken to recover 90 crores for 50 lakh rupees, which is against the rules. In June 2014, two years after the case was registered, the court issued summons against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. After this, the ED registered a case of money laundering. In 2015, Delhi’s Patiala Court granted regular bail to other accused including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
What does Congress have to say in this matter?
The Congress has termed the entire matter as motivated by political malice. He says that the Congress tried to save AJL only because the party wanted to save the legacy due to the poor financial condition of the AJL. There has been no transfer or alteration of the entire property.
Party protests against Sonia’s questioning
Congress protested across the country regarding Sonia Gandhi’s appearance. On Thursday morning, Congress leaders and workers started gathering at the Congress headquarters. However, heavy security arrangements were made around the Congress office and the ED office. Tight security was made around the ED office so that no protest could take place there. Congress media in-charge Jairam Ramesh accused the government and said that the media was being stopped from coming to the Congress office. Non-violent Gandhian ‘Satyagraha’ against any injustice is the constitutional right of every Indian. But in the arrogance of power, the Modi government is also trying to snatch this right from us. Regarding this, the Congress protested from Delhi to all the states of the country. Youth Congress stopped several trains at Shivaji Bridge in New Delhi against the inquiry being conducted by the ED.
Showing solidarity with their leader, party MPs and Congress Working Committee (CWC) members gave mass arrests. Outside the Congress office, Delhi Police detained senior party leaders including Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Mallikarjun Kharge, former Union ministers P. Chidambaram, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, K. C. Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh, Delhi Congress leader Ajay Maken, Youth Congress president B. Srinivas and many others. Several detained leaders were brought to the Kingsway Camp police station in Delhi.
National Herald Case: Sonia Gandhi questioned in Delhi, Congress workers protest in Patna
Government wants opposition-free India: Gehlot
Congress attacked the government fiercely regarding the action of ED. On behalf of the Congress, senior leader and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot targeted the government and said that the central government is misusing the ED, but the Congress is not going to bow down to it. He said that today the ED has become a big weapon to bring down the governments of the opposition parties. Governments are being brought down by misusing the investigating agency. Nothing could be worse than this. He alleged that PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah do not want the opposition in the country.
Gehlot said that there should be no enemy in politics. These people consider the opposition as the enemy. Earlier they used to talk of Congress-mukt Bharat, now they want opposition-mukt Bharat. Gehlot opposed the questioning and said that he condemned the call of Sonia ji for questioning. It would have been better to go to his residence and take his statement. On the other hand, Congress media chief Pawan Khera said that whenever PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are under siege, agencies are pushed forward. He termed it a conspiracy to silence and stop the SIPaksha.
Opposition united on Sonia
The echo of Sonia Gandhi’s appearance was visible on the Parliament session. In this regard, notices of adjournment were given by the Congress in both the houses of Parliament. Manikum Tagore and Gaurav Gogoi in Lok Sabha and KC Venugopal in Rajya Sabha proposed discussion for a debate on misuse of investigative agencies against opponents. A meeting of opposition parties was held in the Parliament premises before the commencement of the work of the House, in which Congress Apart from this, a dozen opposition parties took part. All of them, showing solidarity with Sonia Gandhi, attacked the government for the use of agencies against political opponents. Apart from Congress, DMK, CPI, CPM, TRS, National Conference, NCP, VCK, MDMK, Shiv Sena, RJD, SP, RSP participated in this meeting, where they also issued a collective statement.
Jagdanand Singh came out in support of Sonia Gandhi
The opposition alleged that the central government was taking revenge on political opponents. In the statement, on behalf of the opposition, it was said that the Modi government has been running a campaign of vengeance against its political opponents and critics by mischievous misuse of investigative agencies. Prominent leaders of several political parties have been deliberately targeted and harassed in an unprecedented manner. The opposition condemned this and said that we resolve to continue and intensify our collective fight against the anti-people, anti-farmer, anti-constitutional policies of the Modi government which destroyed the social fabric of our society. .