Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met party leaders inside the Tughlaq Road police station on Monday afternoon after they were detained during their protest in solidarity with party leader Rahul Gandhi, who appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case.
After some commotion at the gates of the police station, Ms Vadra was allowed in and sat with the leaders, including the party’s general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal.
Earlier, Ms Vadra accompanied her brother Rahul Gandhi to the ED office in a car. They also walked some of the way as part of the party’s Satyagraha march. Similar protests were held across Delhi, despite denial of police permission, and in other places in the country.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was among the protesters detained from central Delhi and taken away as orders under Section 144 of the CrPC had been put in place to prohibit gatherings.
On his Twitter account, Mr Gehlot posted updates, including a video, from the bus in which he and others were being transported. He alleged police highhandedness and said the ED investigation was another instance of “misuse of central agencies by the government”.
He tweeted in Hindi, “Today, the way the peaceful march of the Congress party is being stopped, this dictatorship is being watched by the whole country […] This is absolutely unfair in a democracy.”
Along with Mr Gehlot, the Congress leaders detained included Mallikarjun Kharge, Jairam Ramesh, Mukul Wasnik, Digvijay Singh and Deepender Hooda.
Meanwhile, as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke with party leaders inside, Congress workers outside the Tughlaq Road police station were also put into buses and taken away by the police.
The Enforcement Directorate’s probe is about the alleged financial irregularities in Congress-promoted Young Indian Private Limited, which owns the National Herald newspaper. The newspaper is published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and owned by Young Indian Private Limited. At present, it is an online news platform.
Rahul Gandhi is likely to be questioned about the incorporation and operations of the company, and the transfer of funds within the media establishment.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, too, has been summoned in the case, but has been given time till June 23 as she is down with Covid. On Sunday afternoon, she was admitted to a hospital in Delhi due to Covid-related issues.