Congress president Sonia Gandhi has tested positive for coronavirus and she has isolated herself under medical advice, party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Thursday, June 2. He said the Congress chief had a mild fever and she tested positive on Thursday morning. Surjewala said, "We hope she will get better. We will get her tested again and her plan of visiting the ED stands". Sonia Gandhi was on Wednesday summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case to appear before it on June 8.
After the ED's summons to its top leaders, the Congress on Wednesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of hatching a "cowardly conspiracy" against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and said the party will not be cowed down by such "vendetta" politics and attempts to suppress the opposition. Congress leaders Randeep Surjewala and Abhishek Singhvi said the party will fight hard "legally, socially and politically".
Addressing a press conference, they said party president Sonia Gandhi has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate for questioning in a "fake" money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper on June 8, and she was determined to appear before the agency as she has nothing to hide and is not scared or intimidated by such ''cheap tactics''.
They said former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has also been summoned, and that he has written to the probe agency to postpone the date to after June 5 as he is not in the country.
The opposition party alleged that the "fake issue of AJL, (Associated Journals Limited) is an attempt by BJP's propaganda machinery to deviate, divert and digress the attention of citizens from the multifarious vital issues of inflation, falling GDP and social unrest, social divisiveness in this country".
"It is clear that the dictator is scared now and is trying to hide all his failures on the governance front by misusing all government agencies."
"This time they have come out with a new hideous and cowardly conspiracy, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi getting ED notices issued against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi," Surjewala said.
He alleged that the Modi government has turned blind in the pursuit of political vendetta.
Singhvi said, "The Modi government should know that by registering such fake and fabricated cases, they cannot succeed in their cowardly conspiracy."
Neither will the ED be able to stop the National Herald, the voice of the freedom movement, nor will it be able to scare Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, he said, adding that there has been no exchange of money in the case and the question of laundering does not arise.
"The Congress leadership is fearless and ready to present itself before the probe agency. We will not be afraid of such tactics, we will not bow down, but we will fight hard legally, socially and politically," Singhvi added.
"This is a part of a larger disease. A disease, which will consume the ruling party ultimately. The disease is one of attacking every political party purely on vendetta terms from Kashmir to Kanyakumari," he said, alleging that the BJP has tried to bring every political opponent under the net of "puppet" agencies like ED, CBI, IT, etc.
The government has said that the agencies do their job and the opposition leaders should not worry if they have done no wrong.
The case to probe alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper was registered recently.
The National Herald is published by AJL and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited.
The agency recently questioned senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal as part of the investigation. The questioning of the Gandhis is part of ED's investigation to understand the shareholding pattern, financial transactions and role of the promoters of Young Indian and AJL.