As the Enforcement Directorate questioned Sonia Gandhi for the third time, the Congress on Wednesday fielded veterans Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma – two prominent members of G23 who have been critical of the leadership’s style of work – to defend her. Azad emotionally said that the government should not unnecessarily harass an aged and unwell Sonia and argued that political opponents should not be considered “enemies”.
Sharma said that laws like PMLA are being weaponized to target and humiliate people, which should not happen.
The Congress continued its street protests and several of its MPs, including Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, were once again detained by the police as they came out of Parliament in a procession. Congress MPs led by Kharge also staged a sit-in at the Gandhi statue in Parliament against the questioning of Sonia.
Addressing a press conference at AICC headquarters along with Sharma and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Azad slammed the ED for repeatedly summoning Sonia when the agency was already dealing with five cases in the same case from her son Rahul Gandhi. Had interrogated for several hours a day. Azad said it was not right on the part of the agency to harass a woman of her age.
Azad urged the agencies not to be harsh towards the old and ailing Sonia, saying, “In the olden days… even in wars, the king used to direct that women should not be attacked and those who were healthy. No, they should be spared.” The ED questioned him for three hours on Wednesday. No fresh summons was served to him, indicating that his interrogation was over.
Interestingly, both Azad and Sharma refrained from talking about the specifics of the case.
“The issue is not to be called or questioned… India being a rule-based, governed country and a constitutional democracy, while respecting and implementing the laws, we shall not only enjoy liberty, and justice, but also fundamental rights. One must also respect the right to dignity and privacy,” Sharma said.
Gehlot said there is “ED’s terror” in the country.
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