The Enforcement Directorate officials on Tuesday grilled Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi for the second consecutive day. A day before, the ED interrogators had interrogated Gandhi for about 10 hours in two rounds, after he had marched to the ED headquarters amid huge protests by Congress Party workers and leaders.
Gandhi’s questioning began at about 11 on Tuesday morning, which lasted about 4 hours. He was interrogated again after lunch break in the evening. The second round lasted another 4 hours. He has been summoned for further questioning for the third consecutive day in a row on Wednesday.
Gandhi was questioned in detail about the ownership of Young Indian Private Limited (YIL) by the Gandhi family and its shareholding pattern in Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the publisher of the National Herald newspaper.
ED investigators also asked Gandhi about the circumstances under which AJL was acquired by YIL in 2010, making it the owner of all assets owned by AJP worth Rs. 2000 core.
Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi are facing ED investigation under PMLA.
The ED also recorded Gandhi’s statement about the incorporation of the YIL,
the operations of the National Herald and the fund transfer within the news media establishment. The ED is investigating the financial transactions as well as the role of party functionaries in the functioning of AJL and YIL.
Senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal were earlier questioned in the case. Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to appear before the ED on June 23.
Coming to the defence of Rahul, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday, referred to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and asked whether the law applies to the entire country or only to Opposition leaders and Opposition-ruled states.
Chidambaram told the ANI that “I want to ask your audience whether the PMLA book applies to BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka or only to opposition leaders.”
Chidambaram further accused the ED of not following the law in Rahul Gandhi’s AJL case and said that Rahul Gandhi was summoned by the ED in a case where not even a single FIR has been registered so far.
“They are (ED) not following the law and in a democracy, we are entitled to protest. We are protesting against the misuse of the law, if ED follows the law, we have no problem. But ED is not following the law… We’re asking what’s the scheduled offence? There is no answer. Which police agency has registered an FIR? No answer; no copy of FIR,” said the senior Congress leader.