This Article is From Jun 02, 2022

Sonia Gandhi Has Covid, Won't Impact June 8 Summons For Probe, Says Party

Senior Congress leader and party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said Sonia Gandhi has developed mild fever

Sonia Gandhi is receiving necessary medical attention, the Congress said

New Delhi:

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has tested positive for Covid and isolated herself. The party has clarified that as of now, she would appear before the Enforcement Directorate on June 8 for questioning in the National Herald case.

Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said Mrs Gandhi developed mild fever and other Covid symptoms last evening. 

"Congress President, Smt Sonia Gandhi has been meeting leaders and activists over last week, some of whom have been found Covid +ve. Congress President had developed mild fever & Covid symptoms last evening. On testing, she has been found to be Covid positive," he tweeted, adding that she is under medical care. It is learnt that several top party leaders, including K C Venugopal, general secretary in charge of organisation, are infected. 

"Congress President will appear before ED on 8th June, as informed by us earlier. We, at Indian National Congress, shall keep you posted about any future developments," the Congress general secretary said.

Mrs Gandhi and son Rahul have been summoned by the central agency in connection with a money laundering case.

While the Congress president was asked to appear on June 8, the summons for Rahul was for today. The Congress leader, however, is abroad now and has sought a date after June 5.

The case in which the Gandhis have been summoned relates to allegations of cheating, conspiracy, and criminal breach of trust.

Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi recently told the media that there is no evidence of money laundering or of any monetary exchange.

The party has accused the centre of political vendetta and of misusing central probe agencies to target the opposition. "This is a strange case of money laundering where no money is involved. The case is more hollow than a pack of cards. We will face it. We are not intimidated. This reeks of vendetta, pettiness, fear and cheap politics," Mr Singhvi told reporters after the Gandhis were summoned.

The case only involved the conversion of debt into equity to pay off dues like salaries, the Congress said, accusing the government of trying to deflect attention from "real issues" like inflation. Mr Singhvi said the case was closed in 2015 by the Enforcement Directorate but the government removed the officials concerned, brought in new officials, and reopened the case.

The agency, officials have said, wants to record the statements under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The central agency recently questioned 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 the investigation to understand the shareholding pattern, financial transactions and role of the promoters of Young Indian and AJL, officials said.