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ED notice to Sonia, Rahul out of ‘political vendetta’, says Pawan Khera; Congress to protest in Ahmedabad on June 13

Congress national spokesperson Pawan Khera (L). File.

Congress national spokesperson Pawan Khera (L). File. | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress national spokesperson Pawan Khera on Sunday claimed there was “political vendetta” behind the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) notices to party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case as they had been fearlessly questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gujarat Congress workers will protest outside the ED’s office in Ahmedabad on Monday over the issue, State party president Jagdish Thakor said.

The ED had issued summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi in a money laundering case linked to the National Herald-Associated Journals Ltd deal. Rahul Gandhi is set to appear before the ED in Delhi on Monday.

“There is not an iota of illegal activity. Despite this, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi were served notices by the ED out of political vendetta, with the aim to gain some headlines for a week,” Mr. Khera told reporters at the Congress office in Ahmedabad.

“We should learn from Prime Minister Narendra Modi how to manage headlines. Our leaders will honour the ED notice and will go to its office with pride and fearlessness because they have not done anything wrong,” he said.

Mr. Khera claimed the ruling BJP was trying to suppress the voices that question Prime Minister Modi.

He alleged that the BJP was spending crores of rupees to malign Rahul Gandhi's image as he questions the Prime Minister without any fear.

But Rahul Gandhi will not be cowed down, Mr. Khera said, adding that they will continue to question Prime Minister Modi.

Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor said party leaders and workers from across Gujarat will gather at the Helmet circle in Ahmedabad on Monday and march to the ED office to protest against its notices to their leaders.

Mr. Khera said between 2002 and 2011, the Congress provided ₹90 crore interest-free loan to the AJL, which publishes the National Herald newspaper, towards payment of its debt.

“There was no law which said it cannot do so. Even when BJP leader Subramanian Swamy wrote to the Election Commision highlighting this, it conveyed to him that there was nothing illegal in this,” he said.

The loan was later converted into equity shares and a not-for-profit company 'Young India' was formed, with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi among its board members, Mr. Khera said.

“Since it was a not-for-profit company, the board directors were not entitled for a salary, share of dividends and profits, and so, there was nothing illegal in it,” he said.

When the Election Commission said it was not illegal, then what problem does the BJP have? Mr. Khera asked.

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Printable version | Aug 27, 2022 1:29:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ed-notice-to-sonia-rahul-out-of-political-vendetta-says-pawan-khera-congress-to-protest-in-ahmedabad-on-june-13/article65520210.ece