Congress interim Prez Sonia Gandhi tests COVID-19 positive

Randeep Singh Surjewala said that Sonia Gandhi had been meeting with several leaders and activists last week. Some of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi is COVID-19 positive, confirmed INC leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on Thursday. He stated that Sonia Gandhi had been meeting several leaders and activists over the last week. Some of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

Surjewala added that last evening Sonia Gandhi was experiencing a mild fever. Gandhi has isolated herself. Surjewala explained that medical consultation has taken place and Sonia Gandhi is recovering.

This development comes a day after Enforcement Directorate (ED) had summoned Sonia Gandhi and MP Rahul Gandhi in connection with the money laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper. The ED summoned Rahul Gandhi on June 2 and Sonia Gandhi on June 8. “She hopes to recover by 8th for ED notice,” said Surjewala.

Earlier on Wednesday, INC leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi had confirmed that Sonia Gandhi will go to the ED office on June 8. While Rahul Gandhi has sought more time to appear before the ED.

Questioning of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi is in regards to the alleged illegal properties acquired by Associated Journals Limited (AJL), stated the ED on Wednesday.

The case was registered recently to probe alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper. The agency, officials said, wants to record the statements of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The National Herald is published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited.

The agency had recently questioned senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal as part of the investigation.

The questioning of the senior Congress leaders and the Gandhis is part of ED’s investigation to understand the share holding pattern, financial transactions and role of the promoters of Young Indian and AJL, officials said.

The agency registered a fresh case under the criminal provisions of the PMLA after a trial court here took cognisance of an Income Tax Department probe against Young Indian Pvt Ltd on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.

The first family of the Congress party, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, are among the promoters and shareholders of Young Indian.

After the ED examined Kharge last month, the Congress’ whip in the Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore accused the government of “harassing” him. Tagore said the government wants to insult Dalit leaders and added that Kharge would not surrender to such tactics.

BJP MP Swamy had accused Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds with Young Indian Pvt Ltd paying only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Ltd owed to the Congress.

The Delhi High Court in February last year issued a notice to the Gandhis for their response on Swamy’s plea seeking to lead evidence in the matter before the trial court.

They, however, contended in the Delhi High Court that the plea by Swamy was “misconceived and premature”. The other accused in this case filed by Swamy are Suman Dubey and technocrat Sam Pitroda. They have earlier said that they did nothing wrong.

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