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Rahul Gandhi’s ED Grilling Ends After 9 Hours, Summoned Again on Tuesday Amid Show of Strength by Congress | Key Updates

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was grilled for over nine hours by the Enforcement Directorate and well after 9 pm on Monday in connection with a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper. He is once again required to depose before the central agency on Tuesday, party sources said.

The Congress, meanwhile, showed a massive show of strength as Rahul Gandhi walked into the ED office in the morning. He was accompanied by a battery of party leaders and supporters, even as Congress workers across the country took to the streets in protest over the ED action against Gandhi.

The ED allowed him to go for lunch for an hour, during which time Rahul sought permission to visit mother Sonia Gandhi, who is suffering from Covid-19 and is admitted to Ganga Ram hospital in the national capital.

Top party leaders said the ruling BJP was using the ED to harass the Gandhis, and the saffron party had been misusing central agencies for the past eight years to carry out “vendetta politics” against Sonia-Rahul. Leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge accused the government of misusing agencies. “They are misusing agencies and they are harassing people,” he added.

Police heavily barricaded central Delhi areas and detained party leaders for violating prohibitory orders. Prominent among those detained were Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Randeep Surjewala, KC Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Digvijaya Singh, Mukul Wasnik, Jairam Ramesh and many others.

Here are the top updates from Rahul Gandhi’s first appearance before a central probe agency for questioning in a case:

  1. More questioning in store for Rahul Gandhi
    Party sources said senior leader Rahul Gandhi will have to appear before the ED once again on Tuesday for more questioning. The leader was grilled for close to nine hours and wrote down his statement under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He is said to have answered questions related to the incorporation of the Young Indian company, operations of the National Herald, loan given by the Congress to Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and funds transfer within the news media establishment.
  2. Congress takes to the streets in ‘satyagraha’ march
    In a show of massive strength and solidarity with their top leader, hundreds of Congress workers in Delhi and state capitals took to the streets and several senior leaders, including Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, Randeep Surjewala and KC Venugopal, were detained in Delhi. The party had called for a ‘satyagraha’ march against the ED summons. The opposition party accused the central government of “trampling on democracy”. Slogans of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘Rahul tum sangharsh karo hum tumhare saath hain (Rahul you fight, we are with you)’ were heard while protesters waved placards that read, ‘Satyamev Jayate’ (Truth Alone Triumphs) and ‘Will not fear, will not bow, will fight for truth anyhow’.
  3. Chidambaram, Tiwari suffer fracture; Venugopal ‘manhandled’
    Former home minister P Chidambaram and senior leader Pramod Tiwari suffered hairline fractures in a scuffle with Delhi Police. The Congress alleged that police had made a “murderous attack” on its leader Venugopal, who was dragged while being taken to the Tughlaq Road police station as captured by cameras. Chidambaram said three big, burly cops crashed into him and he was lucky to get away with a “suspected hairline crack”. The Delhi Police, however, said while no incident of injuries due to use of force has come to its knowledge, it will diligently probe any such complaint and take appropriate action.
  4. 26 MPs and five MLAs among 459 detained
    Delhi Police said 26 MPs and five MLAs were among 459 people detained. All women and functionaries have been released, it added. Lashing out at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government for “not allowing” peaceful protest, the Congress vowed to continue their agitation.
  5. BJP hits back
    Reacting to comments by Congress leaders accusing the BJP of misusing central agencies and suppressing dissent, the saffron party slammed the grand old party and alleged its leaders were putting pressure on the ED, supporting corruption and protecting alleged assets worth Rs 2,000 crore of the Gandhi family. Union minister Smriti Irani said no one was above the law, “not even Rahul Gandhi”, and she said the Congress was doing this as its corrupt practices had been exposed.
  6. Rahul, Priyanka Meet Sonia Gandhi at hospital
    During his lunch break while at the ED office, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited their mother Sonia Gandhi at Ganga Ram Hospital, a day after she was admitted there due to post-Covid issues. “Both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi visited the hospital in the afternoon and met with Sonia Gandhi,” a hospital source said.
  7. Rahul Gandhi accompanied by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
    In the morning when Rahul Gandhi arrived at the ED office, he was accompanied by sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and escorted by armed CRPF personnel. He went from the party headquarters in Akbar Road to the ED office in a convoy of seven cars after walking for some distance with his supporters.
  8. Heavy barricading in central Delhi
    All roads leading to the ED office in central Delhi were barricaded while police denied permission to a protest march by Rahul Gandhi’s supporters. The Delhi Police also imposed provisions of Section 144 CrPC to prohibit assembly and entry of people on roads leading to the ED office. A heavy posse of Delhi Police and central paramilitary personnel were deployed all along the roads and bylanes of central Delhi.

What is the case all about?

The ED probe pertains to alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper. The National Herald is published by the AJL and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited.

(With PTI inputs)

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