The Enforcement Directorate, on Wednesday, issued summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and Member of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald money-laundering case, leading to howls of protest from Congress, which described the case as “fake”.
The ED had taken up the case in 2014 after former BJP Rajya Sabha member, Subramanian Swamy had moved the court to the court in 2012, alleging that Congress leaders were involved in money laundering.
The Congress party, while responding to these summonses, termed it ‘cheap tactics’ that were being executed to scare the party.
While addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in New Delhi, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the action by ED was an attempt by BJP to deviate from vital issues that were troubling the country.
“The fake issue of AJL, (Associated Journals) is an attempt by BJP’s propaganda machinery to deviate, divert and digress the attention of citizens from the multifarious vital issues of inflation, falling GDP and social unrest, social divisiveness in this country. We will face them. We are not a bit scared or intimidated by such cheap tactics. The hollowness, more hollow than a pack of cards of the essential allegation, on which the summons are issued, nothing exists, because nothing can exist and therefore, we want you to see it, for what it is”, a combative Singhvi said.
Singhvi, a well-known lawyer- among the last few who remains in the party post the recent exit of Kapil Sibal- said that since 2014-15, the ED has not summoned any one because they have no material to seek summons about the Congress President or about the former Congress President.
“Yet on the same facts, exactly the same alleged
acts and omissions, not a comma, full stop change, summons have been issued to divert attention by the ED. There has been no change of transfer of property. Where is the money laundering? Where does it arise? Where is the money? So there is no money, there is no transfer of property, there is no transfer of money, and yet a charge of money laundering is done,” he said.
While calling the summons as a part of a larger disease, the three times Rajya Sabha MP said that the BJP was using central agencies to target its political opponents.
“Friends, this is a part of a larger disease. A disease, which will consume the ruling party ultimately. The disease is one of attacking every political party purely on vendetta terms from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Farooq Abdullah to DMK functionaries, from Gujarat to West Bengal, from Mevani to Mamata Banerjee and the family of Mamata Banerjee. The BJP has brought or tried to malafide every political opponent under the net of puppet agencies like ED, CBI, IT etc”.
Congress media chief Randeep Surjewala said Sonia had received summons for June 8 and would appear before the probe agency for questioning while Rahul has received summons for Thursday. Being abroad currently, Rahul had sought an extension to appear on any day after June 5, said Surjewala. Both received summons over the past 48 hours.