While Sonia Gandhi, chief of the India’s Congress Party is being quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on charges of money-laundering, it is anticipated that she too may step into the shoes of West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee.
West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, who is a leader of Trinamool Congress and known as the trusted aide of Mamata Banerjee has been arrested by ED along with his mistress Arpita Mukherjee, while law enforcement agencies recovered tons of hidden cash from the luxurious residence of Arpita, who also is a model and film actress. Although so far the amount of recovered cash is just Indian rupees 210 million, it is anticipated that the actual amount of money, the West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee has made through rampant corruption would cross at least 700-900 million rupees.
Reportedly, Arpita was into modelling and came in touch with the Trinamool leader a few years back when she was engaged as a model by a local club in Chatterjee’s neighborhood during Durga Puja. It is learnt, following their introduction, Arpita Mukherjee became a confidante and mistress of Partha Chatterjee.
Law enforcement agencies are currently looking for other aides of Partha Chatterjee.
Meanwhile, Enforcement Directorate (ED) has questioned Congress Party Chief Sonia Gandhi in in a money laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper. The party’s workers and leaders held street protests across India and courted arrest.
The questioning lasted for about two hours, and the session ended on her request, officials said. The ED has summoned her for a second round of questioning on July 25. The 75-year-old is recovering from COVID-19.The session was conducted keeping in mind COVID-19 protocol with everyone participating equipped with a COVID negative certificate.
Sonia Gandhi was questioned by the same assistant director-level investigation officer who interrogated her son Rahul Gandhi. The case, filed by BJP MP Dr Subramanian Swamy in 2013, related to alleged financial irregularities in the Congress Party-promoted Young Indian Private Limited, which owns a newspaper named the National Herald.
A female officer was part of the questioning team. The questioning of the Congress President took political center stage in Parliament, where opposition leaders raised the issue, and on the streets with party workers staging massive protests. Sonia Gandhi wore a mask as she drove to the ED office in central Delhi, accompanied by her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Priyanka Gandhi was allowed to stay in the Pravartan Bhawan headquarters of the agency, away from the questioning room, so she could be with her mother in case of a health issue and give her medicines. However, Rahul Gandhi left soon after. The Congress chief had been summoned twice earlier but sought an exemption on grounds of COVID. Her statement was recorded by the agency under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The probe relates to alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-promoted Young Indian Private Limited, which owns the National Herald newspaper.
Rahul Gandhi was questioned by the agency in the case for over 50 hours in sessions spread across five days last month. The move to question the Gandhis was initiated after the ED late last year registered a fresh case under criminal provisions of the PMLA. This was after a trial court took cognizance of an Income Tax department probe against Young Indian on the basis of a private criminal complaint by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.
Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are among the promoters and majority shareholders of Young Indian. Like her son, the Congress president too has 38 percent shareholding.
Dr Swamy had accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds, with YI paying only INR5 million to obtain the right to recover INR902.5 million that AJL owed to the Congress. The Congress party slammed the agency’s action against its top leadership and termed it “political vendetta”.
Please follow Blitz on Google News channel