Kerala

Congress takes out Raj Bhavan march in protest against ED questioning Sonia Gandhi

Police arrest Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan and the former Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala during a protest in front of Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday against the Enforcement Directorate repeatedly questioning Sonia Gandhi in the  National Herald case.

Police arrest Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan and the former Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala during a protest in front of Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday against the Enforcement Directorate repeatedly questioning Sonia Gandhi in the National Herald case. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Congress workers marched to Raj Bhavan here in protest against the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) questioning of All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Sonia Gandhi.

Former Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, MLA, said that the ED had no case against Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. At the behest of its political masters, the agency wanted to show the AICC leadership in an unflattering light. He said the AICC had created a non-profit company to salvage the National Herald and allied publications from debt. It gave ₹90 crore to Associated Journals as a loan and converted the debt into equity shares. The procedure was above board and legal. The action against the AICC leadership smacked of intolerance and authoritarianism.

Mr. Chennithala and Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan addressed the protesters. They later courted arrest along with other party members.

Satheesan’s charge

Speaking to reporters earlier, Mr. Satheesan alleged that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had sought to raise a huge loan by pledging the land acquired from the public for the “still-born” K-Rail (SilverLine) semi-high speed railway project. Mr. Satheesan said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should clarify why the government had struck an agreement to implement the SilverLine project with a Japanese firm sans Centre’s approval. Moreover, he should explain why the government commenced land acquisition before fixing the alignment of the rail transit line.

Mr. Vijayan’s obsession with SilverLine had sowed unrest in Kerala and caused insecurity among thousands of families, which feared displacement.

The United Democratic Front (UDF) would relentlessly oppose the quixotic project that spelt economic and environmental doom for Kerala.

The State had not issued an order exempting essentials and edibles from the Centre’s 5% GST hike. The Supreme Court had prevented the Centre from imposing GST on States. Mr. Vijayan’s opposition to GST was limited to sending a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Centre promulgated the notification. His action was tantamount to tokenism.

Mr. Satheesan said Mr. Vijayan needed the BJP’s crutches to stand. The Congress required no such support.


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Printable version | Aug 26, 2022 6:52:55 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/congress-takes-out-raj-bhavan-march-in-protest-against-ed-questioning-sonia-gandhi/article65690653.ece