LM NEWS 24
LM NEWS 24

Uma Warns Sonia To Call Off Protest Else People Won’t Consider Her An Indian

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Uma Bharti on Thursday took to Twitter to warn Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to stop Congress supporters from protesting over her summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the National Herald case, or else she said people will not forget that Sonia is of Italian origin and that she does not respect the Indian Constitution and laws.

Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Uma Bharti wrote on Twitter in Hindi, “If Sonia Gandhi Ji stops the protesters protesting her appearance before the ED in the National Herald case today, then it will be decided that she is really a citizen and a serious leader of this country.”
Her other tweet read, “Otherwise we will not be able to forget that she is of Italian origin and does not respect Indian law and Constitution.”

Uma Bharti’s social media comments appeared in the wake of the summons by ED over her alleged involvement in a money laundering case involving the National Herald. The ED had on June 1 summoned Sonia Gandhi to appear before its investigators on June 8.

The agency had issued similar summons to Sonia Gandhi on June 21. Sonia Gandhi could not appear for questioning after testing positive and being hospitalised for Covid-19. The Congress leader had developed a mild fever on June 1 evening and was found COVID-19 positive upon testing the next morning.

After her discharge from the hospital, she had asked for more time to appear before the agency. The ED wanted to record both Sonia Gandhi’s statements under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Last month the ED questioned Rahul Gandhi on several occasions in the case.

The case to investigate alleged financial irregularities under the PMLA was registered about nine months ago after a trial court took cognisance of an Income Tax Department probe carried out on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.

The petitioner had approached the court alleging that the assets of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which published the National Herald newspaper, were fraudulently acquired and transferred to Young Indian Pvt Limited (YIL), in which Sonia Gandhi and her son owned 38 per cent shares each.

The YIL promoters include Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Swamy had alleged that the Gandhis cheated and misappropriated funds, with YIL paying only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that AJL owed to Congress.

Congress argued that YIL was a not-for-profit company under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 that can neither accumulate profits nor pay dividends to its shareholders. Calling it a case of political vendetta, senior Supreme Court advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi had said, “This is truly a very weird case — an alleged money laundering case on which summons are issued with no money involved.”

The federal agency’s move followed the questioning of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress Treasurer Pawan Bansal in April this year in New Delhi in connection with its money laundering probe into the National Herald case.

The agency then recorded the statements of both the Congress leaders under the PMLA. The National Herald is published by AJL and owned by YIL. While Kharge is the CEO of YIL, Bansal is the Managing Director of AJL.

The ED is currently investigating the shareholding pattern and financial transactions as well as the role of Congress party functionaries in the functioning of AJL and YIL. (ANI)

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