As ED Questions Sonia Gandhi, Congress Cries Foul, Demands 'Special Treatment'
From trying to barge into ED's office in Nagpur, to demanding that ED officers go to Sonia Gandhi's residence to record her answers — here's how the Congress responded to the questioning of its 'interim president'.
A number of Congress workers were detained after they protested outside the Enforcement Directorate's office in New Delhi on Thursday against its summons to party president Sonia Gandhi in the National Herald case.
The ED had summoned Sonia Gandhi last month. However, she requested the agency to postpone the date as she was recovering from COVID.
The Gandhis, who have always acted above reproach, are facing the law the first time.
The Congress, instead of cooperating with the agencies, decided to deploy pressure tactics.
On the day of Gandhi's appearance before the ED, a large number of Congress workers gathered outside the agency's office in Seminary Hills area of Maharashtra's Nagpur city and tried to barge into the ED office.
Senior Congress leader and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot demanded the ED to bend the rules for Sonia Gandhi. He said, "I condemn the ED action of calling Sonia Gandhi for questioning...The ED should have gone to her residence to take her responses to their questions".
Senior Congress leader and former state minister Sunil Kedar, who led the protest, said, 'It is very unfortunate that a leader like Sonia Gandhiji has been being called by the ED."
A host of floor leaders from opposition parties released a joint statement targeting the Modi government for 'subjecting opposition leaders to harassment in an unprecedented manner'.
Opposition parties' Presidential candidate, Yashwant Sinha tweeted toeing the Congress line. He wrote, "I strongly condemn the attitude of ED to humiliate political leaders. The officers of ED shd have gone to her residence even if they had questions to ask of Sonia Gandhi".
The Congress parliamentarians created a ruckus in the Lok Sabha. The proceedings had to be adjourned amid sloganeering till 11:30 AM. Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said, "Everybody is equal before the law or not? Is the Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) a super human being? They (Congress) think they are above the law...".
Congress party had staged protests, in a similar fashion, when ED was questioning Rahul Gandhi in the same case.
Gandhi, 75, on Thursday reached the ED's office in New Delhi for questioning in the National Herald money laundering case. Her statement will be recorded by the agency under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and it will be also be taped in an audio-video mode.
The mother-son duo are accused of capturing prime land worth crores that was allotted to National Herald newspaper through Young Indian Ltd (YIL). Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi hold 76 per cent of the YIL shares.
(with inputs from PTI)
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