As Congress leader Rahul Gandhi left for another round of questioning with join Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with National Herald case on third day, the Congress party continued to protest.
During the protest, Congress workers chanted “Rahul Gandhi zindabad” and held various placards in their hands reading “I am Rahul too” during a demonstration in the national capital today.
A heavy police and other security personnel were deployed outside the Congress office, and barricades were put in place as Rahul Gandhi has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
On Tuesday also, Gandhi had appeared before the ED for the second consecutive day. The ED had questioned Rahul for over 10 hours on Monday.
As per sources, Gandhi was questioned in detail about the ownership of Young Indian Private Limited (YIL) by the Gandhi family and its shareholding pattern in Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the company that runs the National Herald newspaper.
The National Herald, started by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was published by the AJL.
The sources stated that the Congress leader is being questioned under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED is also learnt to have recorded a statement from Rahul Gandhi to know about the incorporation of the YIL, the operations of the National Herald and the fund transfer within the news media establishment.
Besides, the ED is also reportedly investigating the financial transactions as well as role of party functionaries in the functioning of AJL and YIL.
apart from Gandhi, Congress leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal were earlier questioned in the case. Rahul Gandhi’s mother Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to appear before the ED on June 23.
It is alleged that AJL’s 9 crore shares (99 pc of all) are transferred to YIL, and that Rahul Gandhi alone holds 75 per cent shares while Sonia and other senior Congress leaders own the rest.
There is another set of allegations that Congress gave AJL Rs 90 crore loan which Congress writes off in lieu of alleged ownership of AJL assets worth Rs 2,000 crore.
However, Congress claims that loan was given to pay the salaries of AJL staffers and to save National Herald and that YIL is a not-for-profit company and its ownership still vests with AJL.
Meanwhile, due to heavy protest, the Delhi Police has imposed provisions of Section 144 CrPC to prohibit assembly and entry of people on roads leading to the ED headquarters in Pravaratan Bhawan on A P J Abdul Kalam Road.