NEW DELHI: Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi was questioned for two hours by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday in the National Herald money laundering case.
The questioning began around 12:30 pm, at the ED’s headquarters in central Delhi. She was accompanied by her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Rahul left the ED headquarters after some time, while Priyanka stayed backed and waited in a separate room while her mother was being questioned.
Recording of Sonia’s statements began after completion of some formalities like verification of summons and signature in the attendance sheet, sources said.
Sources say that she was asked the same set of questions which were asked to Rahul during his five-day questioning.
She has been allowed to leave on her request made on medical grounds, sources said.
The probe relates to alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-promoted Young Indian Private Limited, which owns the National Herald newspaper.
Congress workers protested in various parts of the country against the questioning of Sonia Gandhi by the ED. They alleged misuse of cenral agencies by the Modi government.
Party MPs and Congress Working Committee members “courted mass arrest” outside the AICC headquarters in New Delhi in a show of collective solidarity with her. They alleged that the Delhi Police prevented the media from entering the AICC headquarters and this “high-handedness” reflects the mindset of the Narendra Modi government.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the probe agency should first hold a press conference to spell out under what charges Sonia Gandhi is being probed.
“I condemn the ED action of calling Sonia Gandhi for questioning,” he told reporters at a press conference.
Party leader Sachin Pilot said the BJP-led government’s sole objective is to indulge in “character assassination” of people and “trample” upon the voice of the Opposition.
Congress was joined by several opposition parties in protesting the ED questioning of Sonia Gandhi.
Leaders of DMK, CP(M), CPI, NC, TRS, MDMK, NCP and Shiv Sena, in a joint statement condemned the ED action against Sonia Gandhi and alleged that the government was unleashing a relentless campaign against its political opponents through “mischievous” misuse of probe agencies.
(With agency inputs)