Congress president Sonia Gandhi has tested positive for the Covid-19 pandemic amid being in the spotlight for her upcoming questioning session from the ED in a money laundering case. The Congress party has said that she has been doing fine and she has isolated herself.
Sonia Gandhi has on Thursday - June 2 confirmed to have contracted the viral infection. Addressing the media persons, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala has said, "She has developed mild fever, some symptoms and has isolated herself. She has been given requisite medical attention." Surjewala further asserted that though Sonia Gandhi had developed health complications, her schedule for appearing before the ED hasn't been changed.
Sonia Gandhi was summoned to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on June 8 while her son Rahul Gandhi would be appearing before the ED on June 5 in a money laundering case, which is linked to the National Herald newspaper, published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which is owned by the Congress party- promoted Young Indian Private Limited. The case was filed recently against the Gandhis to probe the alleged financial irregularities in the Young Indian Private Limited.
The summon was issued to the Gandhis on June 1. The officials have said that the ED wants to record the statements of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The summon was issued to the Gandhis days after the ED had questioned senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal as part of the probe.
The issue of financial irregularities had begun in 2012 when BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had filed a complaint brushing allegations that Congress leaders, including Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, were involved in a breach of trust in the acquisition of Association Journals Limited by Young Indian Private Limited. In his complaint, Swamy has alleged that Young Indian Limited had acquired the assets of the National Herald in a malicious manner, in a fashion of making a profit and assets worth over Rs 2,000 crore.
Swamy has said that the loan given to Association Journals Limited was illegal. In his complaint, Swamy had accused the Gandhis of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds with Young Indian Private Limited paying only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the rights to recover Rs 90.25 crore that the Journals were indebted to the party. However, the Congress party has been claiming that it has created Young Indian Private Limited with an aim of charity and not for a profit.
According to reports, Rahul Gandhi was initially summoned to appear before the ED on June 2. However, it was later changed to June 5 as he is not in the country. Sonia Gandhi has been asked to appear before the ED on June 8. The Congress party has slammed the Central government for its vendetta politics. The party has said that the summon from the ED was a politics of revenge.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday -June 1, Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "This is a politics of vendetta and revenge by the BJP to target opposition leaders as they have done to other opponents in the country. " The leaders said that there is no case made out of it and its only intention is malafide.
Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "National Herald newspaper was started in 1942. At that time, the British tried to close it. Today, the Modi government is also doing the same thing as the Britishers did. Now the ED is being used for this purpose. The Enforcement Directorate has given notice to our president Sonia Gandhi and former president Rahul Gandhi."
Addressing the reporters, Congress leader Singhvi said, "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." He further said that the case was closed in 2015 by the ED but the government had removed the concerned officials, brought in new officials, and reopened the case.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi tests positive for COVID-19. She has developed mild fever & some symptoms & has isolated herself and has been given requisite medical attention. As of today, her date of appearance before ED on June 8th stands as it is: Congress' Randeep Surjewala pic.twitter.com/0eTTN1RhUn— ANI (@ANI) June 2, 2022