Sonia to appear before ED again; Congress gears up for protests at Parliament, party office

The Congress has planned on staging a “satyagraha” at its headquarters in New Delhi and at the Parliament premises on Tuesday as Sonia Gandhi is expected to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) again in an alleged money laundering case.

The party had earlier planned to protest at Rajghat but was unable to get permission from the authorities. According to news agency ANI, heavy security has been deployed outside the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters. Last week, as many as 349 Congress members were detained outside the party office during the protests, including senior leaders Shashi Tharoor, Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot, Pawar Khera and Randeep Singh Surjewala. Police said a total of 56 MPs were detained under the Delhi Police Act. Authorities were informed of the detentions and the detainees were released later.

The agitation had turned violent, with protesters breaking the barricades and clashing with the police, who used water cannons in a bid to quell the protests.

The ED questioned Sonia for two hours on July 21 in the National Herald money laundering case and ended the session for the day on her request as she is recovering from Covid, officials said.

In another setback for the party, four Congress MPs were suspended from the remaining session of Parliament for “misconduct”. The MPs — Manickam Tagore, Ramya Haridas, T N Prathapan and S Jothimani — were named by Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the Chair, under Rule 374, for displaying placards in the House.

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