'I am not Savarkar, I am Rahul,' slogans as Congress leader enters ED office
New Delhi, Jun 13: Amidst high drama, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrived at the office of the Enforcement Directorate even as party workers staged demonstrations against his questioning in connection with a money laundering case relating to the National Herald newspaper.
Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by his sister, Priyanka Gandhi. While Rahul went inside the ED's office Priyanka returned with the party leaders including Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel, P Chidambaram, Sachin Pilot and Jairam Ramesh.
The protesters raised slogans such as 'I am not Savarkar, I am Rahul Gandhi.'
The Congress had planned a march from the party's headquarters to the probe agency's office. Visuals showed a huge presence of the police outside the office of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The Delhi Police would however not allow the rally due to the communal situation in the capital and has also taken into consideration the VVIP movement.
In an interview with PTI, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram asserted the summons to the former party chief was "baseless" and said it appears that the ED's jurisdiction does not extend to the BJP members or to states ruled by it.
About the ED summons to Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and the Congress' decision of a show of strength when the former appears before the probe agency on Monday, Chidambaram said, "I speak as a Congress member and an advocate. The ED's summons to Rahul Gandhi under PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) is baseless."
Pointing out that the offence of money laundering requires 'money' and "laundering of money", the former home minister said in the National Herald debt-to-equity conversion, something which lending banks do on a regular basis, there was no transaction of money.
Therefore, how can there be money laundering, he posed.
"It is like accusing a person of purse snatching when there was no purse and no snatching," Chidambaram argued.