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The Enforcement Directorate’s move to summon Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case has stirred up a war of words between the opposition party and the government with the former alleging political vendetta behind the ED move.

 

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the party is not afraid of any summons by the ED and will not be cowed down by any such "vendetta" by the BJP government. "The Modi government should know that by registering such fake and fabricated cases, they cannot succeed in their cowardly conspiracy," he said.

 

 

Another party leader Randeep Surjewala said under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the entire party and its workers would stand shoulder to shoulder with them, and "we will fight and win this attack on the country’s democracy".

 

He said the summons have been issued to mislead the country as the Modi government specialises in the politics of diverting issues and has been blinded by the feeling of revenge.

 

The government, however, defended the ED action and said the agencies were just doing their job. Union minister Anurag Thakur said the issue has nothing to do with cabinet decisions.

 

Culture and Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy questioned why the two Congress leaders were worried when they have done no wrong.

 

"I think that they should not worry if they have done nothing wrong," he said.

 

BJP president J.P. Nadda took a dig at the Congress party for questioning the ED and said an honest person moves court to get the charges quashed. 

 

“Have you ever heard any criminal saying that he is dishonest? No criminal ever says that he is dishonest. Even after being punished and spending years in prison, they (criminals) say they were framed,” Nadda said.

 

The ED has summoned both Sonia and Rahul for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper. While Sonia Gandhi, 75, has been asked to depose before the federal agency at its headquarters in central Delhi on June 8, Rahul Gandhi has been asked to appear on Thursday (June 2).

 

Congress said Sonia Gandhi will comply with the summons while Rahul Gandhi has written to the probe agency to postpone the date to after June 5 as he is not in the country.

 

The ED had recently registered a case to probe alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper. The agency, officials said, wants to record the statements of the Gandhis under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

 

The National Herald is published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited.

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