Conflicts & War

Protests in India over interrogation of Gandhis in corruption case

New Delhi, Jun 13 (EFE).- Supporters of the opposition Indian Congress Party (INC) held a march on Monday in several regions of the country to show their support for Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the grand old party, after he was called for interrogation regarding an alleged money laundering case.

The political leader visited early Monday the offices of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in New Delhi, accompanied by his sister and secretary general of Congress, Priyanka Gandhi, to explain to the authorities how the debt of the National Herald newspaper was managed.

Meanwhile, a crowd of Congress supporters gathered near the ED to show solidarity with the Gandhis, considering the move as means to exert political pressure by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The streets of central New Delhi was filled with police checkposts since morning against thousands of INC supporters who decided to proceed with the protest, despite being disallowed by the government.

The protests also spread to several states, such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam, Maharashtra and Kerala.

INC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala criticized the government move in a statement, and accused the Modi government of wanting to silence a non-violent protest.

“The cowardly Modi government is again frightened of the voice of truth. Modi government and its puppet ED- Election management Department – has challenged the truth. The truth needs no masks, cannot be suppressed or defeated,” he said.

For her part, BJP leader and Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, said the protests in support of Congress leaders were not “an attempt to save democracy,” but “an attempt to protect the 2,000 crore (20 billion rupees) wealth of the Gandhi family.”

I want to tell the country that when today Congress leaders and workers are protesting on Rahul Gandhi being summoned, this is not an attempt to save democracy, this as an attempt to protect the 2,000 crore wealth of the Gandhi family

Rahul Gandhi’s mother and president of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, was also called to testify in this case, but after contracting the coronvirus, she was issued a fresh summon for Jun.23.

The National Herald was a newspaper founded in 1938 by Rahul Gandhi’s great-grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, who served as India’s first prime minister following the country’s independence in 1947. The newspaper and was shut down in 2008.

The firm Young Indian, created in 2010 and led by two of the defendants, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda, took over the debt of Associated Journals, which ran the newspaper, by paying some $83,000 for the right to recover some $10 million owed to the Congress Party.

The BJP leader denounced when an Indian judge called them to testify for alleged embezzlement in 2014 that the Congress was able to manage assets equivalent to $332 million. EFE


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