Rahul Gandhi among Congress leaders detained amid protests at Vijay Chowk

Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday arrived at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for her second round of questioning in the money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper. The Congress president was accompanied by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and is likely to depose before the federal probe agency around noon, for the recording of her statement by the ED investigating officer, officials said.

Initially, she was summoned by the agency on Monday but it was deferred by a day. The agency is probing alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-promoted Young Indian Private Limited, which owns the National Herald newspaper. Meanwhile, the Congress has planned a ‘satyagraha’ all over the country to protest the Enforcement Directorate’s summons to Sonia Gandhi in the money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been detained amid protests by Congress leaders and MPs

We’re protesting as per the instruction of the police. All of this is a conspiracy by PM Modi & Amit Shah to completely destroy the Opposition and muzzle our voices. We won’t be scared, our fight will continue: Congress leader & LoP Mallikarjun Kharge

“They’re trying to harass Opposition leaders, we’ll fight it. We’re with Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi. You can’t harass us anymore,” says Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar

The move to question the Gandhis was initiated after the ED late last year registered a fresh case under the criminal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

This was after a trial court here took cognisance of an Income Tax department probe against Young Indian based on a private criminal complaint by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are among the promoters and majority shareholders in Young Indian. Like her son, the Congress president too has 38 per cent shareholding.

Swamy had accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds, with Young Indian paying only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Limited owed to the Congress.

In February last year, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Gandhis seeking their response to Swamy’s plea. Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal were questioned by the ED in the case in April.

Congress has maintained there has been no wrongdoing and Young Indian is a “not-for-profit” company established under section 25 of the Companies Act and hence there can be no question of money laundering.

It is understood that Rahul Gandhi, during his deposition before the ED, stuck to the position that there was no personal acquisition of assets by himself or his family.

According to the ED, assets worth about Rs 800 crore are “owned” by the AJL and the agency wants to know from the Gandhis how a not-for-profit company like Young Indian was undertaking commercial activities of renting out its land and building assets.