Ankur Chatterjee: In a statement today, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi denounced the Prime Minister’s constant use of central agencies to silence him along with other opposition voices.
In June, The Enforcement Directorate questioned Mr Gandhi over the course of five days regarding a money laundering case from the UPA era. As part of its investigation into alleged money laundering relating to the National Herald newspaper, the central agency questioned Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Gandhi’s mother and INC supremo.
Mr. Gandhi spoke to reporters today as Congress MPs prepare to meet in order to discuss their strategy following the closure of Young Indian’s office in Delhi by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the National Herald case.
“If you are talking about National Herald, the entire matter is about intimidation. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah think that with a little pressure we will go silent. But we won’t. Whatever Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are doing against democracy, we will stand our ground,” said Mr. Gandhi.
In response to a reporter’s question about the BJP’s threat that he would be left with “nowhere to escape,” Mr Gandhi lashed back, “Who is talking about running? They are the one who talk of running. We won’t be intimidated. We are not scared of Narendra Modi, do whatever you want, it doesn’t matter. I will keep doing my job, that is to protect democracy, to maintain harmony in the country.”
In June and July alone, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi were asked a flurry of questions under the suspicion of their involvement with National Herald newspaper and Young Indian Pvt Ltd.
The National Herald case revolves around Young Indian’s takeover of Associated Journals Ltd, or AJL, the firm that owns and operates the National Herald newspaper, and the subsequent transactions. Subramanian Swamy, a BJP leader, accused Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and others of plotting to misappropriate funds in a complaint filed in the Delhi High Court.
The BJP has also responded to the raging protests by Congress workers and leaders while Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were detained. The BJP said that the Congress was not protesting with the intention of safeguarding democracy, instead they were protesting with the intention to save Rahul Gandhi’s 2,000 crore assets.
When Rahul Gandhi was being questioned on June 13, Union Minister Smriti Irani had said, “Congress leaders have taken to the streets to put pressure an investigating agency openly because their corruption has been exposed. But no one is above the law, not even Rahul Gandhi.”
Ms. Irani claimed that the company’s ownership was shifted to one family so that it no longer publishes newspapers but instead operates a real estate business.
She had inquired whether those who had donated to the Congress in order for it to participate in democratic activities intended for their funds to be directed to a corporation owned by the Gandhi family.
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