The Congress on Tuesday dubbed the ED raids on National Herald office here as ”vendetta politics” and said it will not be cowed by such actions and will continue to expose failures of the government.
The party also said that whosoever speaks against the BJP and exposes the government’s failures, they will be meted out with either an ED or CBI or income tax raid, saying such actions are attempts to divert public attention from burning issues of price rise, unemployment and high GST rates on essential items.
The Congress reaction came after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids on a dozen locations, including the head office of the party-owned National Herald newspaper. Officials said the searches are being carried out under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to ”gather additional evidence with regard to the trail of funds”.
”The raids on Herald House, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg are a part of the continued attack against India’s principal opposition — Indian National Congress,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.
”We strongly condemn this vendetta politics against those who speak up against the Modi Government. You cannot silence us!” he said.
Officers of the federal agency searched the National Herald office located on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in central Delhi, where Congress workers and leaders staged a protst against the action. Later, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Kumar Bansal also visited the Herald House in the evening.
The address is registered in the name of Associated Journals Ltd, which publishes the newspaper.
The ED has questioned Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her MP son Rahul Gandhi in this case, apart from a few other Congress leaders.
Senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge said ”this is a politics of vendetta” and alleged that they want to suppress the voice of Congress and create an atmosphere of fear to demoralise the Congress workers.
The BJP government is mainly targeting the Congress, Kharge said, adding that they want to ”completely demolish the Opposition and non-BJP leaders are being arrested.” Noting that not a single BJP leader has been arrested or raided so far by prob agencies, he alleged that the BJP’s interest is that they want to kill democracy and are destroying many state governments by purchasing the MLAs, he said ”This is very bad for the democracy and also, they want to destroy the constitution and now the Congress Party will fight that.” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the raid on Herald House by ED reflects that the Central government is rattled. ”After torturing Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi in the name of interrogation, the ED is now taking such action for face saving,” he said in a tweet.
Gehlot claimed the ED had closed the case in July 2015, but the Central government transferred the investigating officer of that time and ”put pressure on the new officers and initiated action with vendetta in mind”.
”No matter how much the Central government tries to defame the Congress through ED, in the end the truth shall win,” Gehlot said.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said in independent India, there is perhaps no other governmental and no other place, where politics has sunk to this rock bottom. ”This is absolute rock bottom for Indian politics. To settle petty personal scores, to intimidate India’s Opposition, the Modi government is doing exactly what the British did during the freedom struggle. During the freedom struggle, the British had banned and raided National Herald, that’s exactly what the Modi government is doing,” she told reporters.
The Congress leader said the ED has questioned the Congress chief for three days and the former Congress president for 50 hours, noting that ”the ED is completely incompetent and has not been able to gather enough”.
”ED, which has become a frontal department and election department of the BJP, is used to intimidate Opposition, is used to settle political scores, to intimidate their own who could speak against them. The agency is vehemently used to topple democratically elected governments,” she said.
The Congress leader said while some may be intimidated by the raids of probe agencies, but the Congress is certainly not. ”We condemn it, we will fight it…but we will continue to expose the failures of this government because the future of our youths is at stake due to unemployment and every Indian is suffering from high prices,” she said.
Congress leader Naseer Hussain said through ED raids, the government is trying to divert the attention of the common men in the country. ”They are trying to divert the political narrative of the country by carrying on such raids, by trying to blackmail, humiliate and victimize the leaders of the opposition parties, including Congress. There is a complete misuse of central agencies like ED and CBI in our country,” he said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)