The Congress in Karnataka will hold a protest on July 21, as party national President Sonia Gandhi is likely to depose before Enforcement Directorate (ED) that day for questioning in the National Herald newspaper-linked money-laundering case, alleging political harassment by the ruling BJP. It alleged that investigating agencies in this country are being misused to target Congress leadership and opposition party leaders in this country.
“Sonia Gandhi has expressed her willingness to appear (before ED) and to give respect to the law, she has been asked to appear at the time when Parliament is in session, this is after ED questioned Rahul Gandhi for five days, they could not provide any evidence and kept questioning him on same things,” state Congress President D K Shivakumar said. Speaking to reporters here, he said it is an attempt to put a black mark on the charisma of the party and its leadership.
“The Congress has decided to protest this country wide on July 21, in Bengaluru also a large scale protest will be held and all leaders, legislators and workers have to attend it mandatorily, even if we are arrested. The protest will be from Freedom Park to Raj Bhavan,” he said. On July 22, at all district centres, similar protests will be held and it will see the participation of all office bearers and local leaders. KPCC chief said state level senior leaders too will participate in such protests in different districts.
“We have to register our protest, instill confidence in Sonia Gandhi against false cases and attempts to intimidate us. We will have to send out a message that we will not fear such things,” he said. Shivakumar noted that Gandhi family has sacrificed a lot for this country and said there should be humanity.
“Sonia Gandhi refused to take the Prime Minister’s post (in 2004) in the interest of the nation and gave it to an economist like Dr Manmohan Singh… Sonia Gandhi is a symbol of sacrifice, it is under her leadership Congress was in power for ten years, we brought her to politics to safeguard this country and the party,” he said. “What has BJP done? What is their contribution to the country? They are speaking about the national flag now, but for years it was not flown on RSS office,” he added.
ED has asked Sonia Gandhi to depose before it on July 21 for questioning in the National Herald newspaper-linked money-laundering case. Gandhi was issued a second summons for June 23 by the agency, but the 75-year-old Congress leader could not keep the date as she was “strictly advised to rest at home following her hospitalisation on account of COVID-19 and a lung infection”.
The Congress president was first issued the notice for appearance on June 8 but after she reported positive for COVID-19, the summons for June 23 was issued. Her son and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has been questioned by the agency in the case for over 50 hours in sessions spread across five days.
On Congress march planned across the state to mark the 75th year of independence, Shivakumar said, it has been left to the district units and leadership to plan 75 km march in their respective regions, while in Bengaluru on August 15 a march called “walk for nation” has been planned by holding national flag, from Sangolli Rayanna circle to National College grounds. “It is not a political programme, anyone from all walks of life can participate in this march,” he clarified.