The Enforcement Directorate today summoned Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her MP son Rahul Gandhi to appear before it in June regarding a money laundering case relating to the National Herald newspaper. Rahul Gandhi has been summoned on June 2 and Sonia Gandhi on June 8, ED sources said.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are determined to honour the ED summons and not delay or seek an adjournment, sources said. “It’s a political, social, economic, and legal battle,” the party has asserted.
Congress MP and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi at a press conference said there is no evidence of money laundering or of any money exchange. The party has accused the Centre of political vendetta and misusing central probe agencies to target the opposition with an eye on assembly elections.
“This is a strange case of money laundering where no money is involved. The case is more hollow than a pack of cards. We will face it. We are not intimidated. This reeks of vendetta, pettiness, fear and cheap politics,” Mr Singhvi told reporters.
The party further claimed that the case was just a diversion from “real issues” the country is facing like inflation and other problems. The case was already closed in 2015 by the ED itself but the government did not like it and it removed the ED officials concerned, brought in new officials, and reopened the case, Mr Singhvi said.
The agency, officials said, wants to record their statements under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The party has pointed out that there was no money exchange, and only conversion of debt into equity to pay off dues like salaries etc.
The National Herald is published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited.
The central probe agency recently questioned senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal as part of the investigation.