Updated: Thu, 21 Jul 2022 07:29 PM IST
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been summoned again by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 25 (Monday) for questioning in connection with the money laundering probe related to the National Herald newspaper case. The Congress' boss was grilled by the federal agency today for over 2 hours amid the massive protests by the party leaders and workers across the country.
The questioning of Sonia Gandhi, who is recovering from COVID-19, ended today after her request, the ED officials said, however, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the agency sleuths told her that they had no further questions and she could leave. Sonia Gandhi in turn said she would be willing to respond to any other questions they might have and was ready to stay on till 8 pm or 9 pm if necessary, Ramesh said.
ED ने कहा हमारे पास कोई सवाल नहीं, आप जा सकती हैं, मगर सोनिया जी ने कहा कि आपके जितने सवाल हैं, पूछिए, मैं रात 8-9 बजे तक रुकने को तैयार हूं।— Congress (@INCIndia) July 21, 2022
मैं साफ कर दूं कि सोनिया जी ने पूछताछ खत्म करने का कोई निवेदन नहीं किया : श्री @Jairam_Ramesh#सत्य_साहस_सोनिया_गांधी pic.twitter.com/vgb9XaO76C
She also said she was a Covid patient and needed to take her medicines so she should be informed about what time she should appear next. Meanwhile, an ED official said she was initially summoned again on July 26 but this was advanced to July 25 at her insistence. Her statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) like it was done for just over two hours on Thursday.
She replied to about 27 top 28 questions on Thursday. Following this, she told the officials that she needs to take her medicines at home owing to her recent Covid recovery and the agency allowed ending the day's session.
According to sources, while the Congress president was leaving, the ED asked her to depose on July 26 but Gandhi suggested that she can come on July 25, to which both sides agreed. The probe relates to alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-promoted Young Indian Private Limited, which owns the National Herald newspaper.
Meanwhile, seventy-five Congress MPs including Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and several workers were detained by the Delhi Police for demonstrations against the questioning of the party chief.
Senior Congress leaders including P Chidambaram, Ajay Maken, Manickam Tagore, KC Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhry, Shashi Tharoor, Sachin Pilot, and Harish Rawat. Ashok Gehlot and K Suresh were among those detained.
Congress workers in Nagpur were also detained in the wake of the protest. The protest by the Congress turned violent in Bengaluru as the Youth Congress workers allegedly set a car on fire, in front of the ED office. Congress workers also stopped a train and blocked railway tracks at New Delhi's Shivaji Bridge railway station. Chandigarh Police also used water cannons to disperse Congress workers and leaders as they protested over the questioning.
(With Agency Inputs)