Rahul was too tired to answer 20% of questions: ED
Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, stated on Wednesday that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) agents who interrogated him regarding the purported money laundering in the National Herald case were impressed by the patience with which he answered their questions. They were reportedly so astonished by his strength that they questioned him about it. However, the version has now been disputed by ED officials.
Why does this story matter?
Congress party workers protested all five days Rahul Gandhi arrived at the ED office, beginning June 13. The party on Tuesday staged a "Satyagraha" alleging "misuse" of the ED and against what it calls the "Modi government's vendetta politics." Congress sees the ED's summons to Gandhi in the 2013 case as an instance of pure vendetta and wants to counter it politically and legally.
Statement of ED officials over Rahul Gandhi's claims
When asked about Rahul's statement, ED officials responded, "The fact is that he avoided replies to almost 20% of the questions...by saying that he was feeling too tired." They also questioned Rahul's account of his five-day confinement at the ED. Gandhi stated on Wednesday that his experience in Vipassana and as a Congress worker helped him respond to the questioning in a composed manner.
Rahul used to review his own responses: ED officials
According to officials, Rahul needed to spend a lot of time with the investigators since he would review his responses. "He took long to go through his own replies, and it's the reviews which accounted for the longer part of the session each day." Rahul arrived at the ED office around 11 am every day and left around 11 pm, with a one-hour break.
Gandhi's remarks spark political speculations in Rajasthan
According to reports, the very same remark of Rahul Gandhi, which ended by referring to Sachin Pilot, has also triggered fresh speculations over the party leadership and major changes in Rajasthan, including the return of Pilot as Rajasthan Congress chief. He concluded his remark by stating, "Congress party teaches patience. I've been working since 2004. Sachin Pilot is sitting here, Siddaramaiah Ji is here."
What do we know about the money laundering case?
The case in which the Gandhis have been summoned relates to accusations of fraud and theft of National Herald funds in the purchase of the newspaper. They are accused of obtaining the National Herald assets by purchasing the former publisher of the newspaper, Associated Journals Limited (AJL), through another company, Young Indian (YI), in which they had an 86% share.
What exactly is the ED investigating in the case?
The ED is investigating the transaction between YI and Congress in which the party, which is the former owner of AJL, sold its 100% shareholding to YI for Rs 50 lakh. Congress regarded this sum as payment for AJL's Rs 90 crore debt to Congress. To note, the National Herald was a newspaper founded by Jawaharlal Nehru along with other freedom fighters in 1938.