Days after the Enforcement Directorate questioned Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in an alleged money laundering case connected to the National Herald newspaper, the probe agency is today raiding around 12 locations including the offices of the newspaper in Delhi and several other premises linked to Associated Journals Limited (AJL) — the company that runs the newspaper. Sources say the probe agency is likely to attach these properties after searches.
Congress has hit back saying the Opposition’s questions on crucial issues like inflation, and unemployment had put the government on the back foot. They are unable to answer the people of the country so they are trying to humiliate and blackmail those who are asking uncomfortable questions, the party said.
“It’s not just the Congress but leaders of several Opposition parties who are being harassed,” Congress spokesperson Syed Naseer Hussain said, adding that the grand old party “will not bow down”.
Mrs Gandhi was late last month asked over 100 questions in 12 hours spread over three days. Her son and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi was earlier questioned over five days and was asked around 150 questions.
The Gandhis are being investigated in what is called the “National Herald case” involving the Young Indian’s takeover of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the company that runs the National Herald newspaper founded by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
The Enforcement Directorate says the Young Indian also took over Rs 800 crore in assets of AJL. According to the Income Tax department, this should be considered an asset of the shareholders of Young Indian — Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi – for which they should pay tax.
Denying any wrongdoing, the Congress asserts that the Young Indian is a “not-for-profit” company and so, there can be no question of money laundering.
Congress leaders and workers have carried out massive demonstrations in the national capital, and also across the country, against the questioning of the top leaders. They allege the case is politically motivated and the Centre is using probe agencies for political vendetta.