Mallikarjun Kharge on receiving ED summons: ‘Want to abide by law but…’

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday said he had been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate; the summons to the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha comes amid the questioning of party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in connection with the National Herald money laundering case. The Congress has called the summons issued to its senior leaders a ‘misuse of central agencies’ by the government.

Kharge asked if it was right for the ED to issue summons when the Parliament session is underway and criticised deployment of police outside the homes of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.

Also read | Rahul Gandhi says ‘not scared of Modi’, day after ED seals Young Indian office

“I received ED summon, they called me at 12.30pm. I want to abide by law, but is it right for them to summon when Parliament is in session? Is it right for Police to gherao residences of Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi?..We won’t be scared, we’ll fight…” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

On Wednesday the road to the Congress’ Delhi headquarters was blocked by police and Congress leaders criticised the deployment, asking if Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were ‘terrorists’. They said the party is ‘under siege’ by the government. The barricades were later removed.

The ED also temporarily sealed the office of Young Indian (YI) company housed in the premises of Congress-owned National Herald as part of the ongoing investigation.

According to news agency PTI, the ED team emailed summons to the principal officer/in-charge of YI, who happens to be senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, seeking their attendance to open the cabins for it to carry out raids but they have not received any response, so far.

Kharge, the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, had visited the ‘Herald House’ building on Tuesday evening along with party colleague Pawan Bansal but he left and the search could not be conducted, officials were quoted as saying by news agency PTI. As and when the authorised person (for YI) presents themselves for concluding the search, the seal will be removed, they added.

(With agency inputs)

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