The Congress is preparing for a major show of strength in the national capital on June 13 when former party chief Rahul Gandhi will appear before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case. Sources said on Wednesday that all party MPs, of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and senior leaders have been asked to reach the party headquarters on Akbar Road Monday morning. The party plans to take out a march to the ED office on APJ Abdul Kalam Road in a show of support for Gandhi when he appears before the agency.
The party has convened a virtual meeting of general secretaries, in-charges of various states and state unit presidents on Thursday evening to finalise the protest plans. Senior party leaders said the state units should also conduct various campaigns in protest against the ED summons in connection with a money laundering case pertaining to the National Herald-AJL deal.
The Congress has termed the charges ”fake and baseless” and added the summonses to Rahul Gandhi and party president Sonia Gandhi was part of the BJP’s ”vendetta politics”. The party had put up a similar show of strength earlier when the Gandhis appeared in a court after they were summoned in a related case.
The Congress on Wednesday had said its leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi would appear before the ED as they had nothing to hide from the probe agency, and that the BJP should learn lessons from it. Sonia Gandhi was asked to appear before the ED on Wednesday, but she has sought time from the agency as she is recovering from the coronavirus infection.
The Congress president tested positive on Thursday. Rahul Gandhi had earlier been summoned to appear before the agency on June 2 but he sought a fresh date as he was abroad at the time.
The case pertains to the probe into the alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper. The paper is published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited. Officials said the agency wanted to record the statements of the Gandhis under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).