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ED Questions Telangana Congress Leaders in National Herald Case

The ED is questioning Telangana Congress leaders J Geeta Reddy and Gali Anil Kumar.

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By: Anand Singh | New Delhi
Updated: October 6, 2022 15:44
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Moving ahead in its probe in the alleged money laundering case involving National Herald, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is questioning Telangana Congress leaders J Geeta Reddy and Gali Anil Kumar, officials said on Thursday.

According to the ED officials, Reddy – who is also the current working President of Telangana Congress – and Kumar arrived at the investigative agency’s headquarters here at around 11 a.m.

An ED source related to the probe told The New Indian both the leaders will be questioned about the Rs 20 lakh donations they made to National Herald. The source, however, did not disclose the year when these donations were made by them.

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The agency has also summoned some more leaders from Telangana for questioning in connection with the case.

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar was summoned for questioning on October 7.

To a question by The New Indian on October 3 on the fresh ED summons to Shivakumar, Ramesh had said, “It’s not surprising. The politics of vendetta continues and every effort will be made by the Modi government and the Bommai government and every puppet government to derail and disrupt the yatra.”

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“We are not going to be derailed and disrupted, and we will continue. And today, by the end of the day, we will walk and cover 66 km in Karnataka,” he had stated.

Earlier, the ED had questioned Shivakumar, who is also a trouble shooter for the party, on September 18 and asked him about his association with National Herald. He was also probed about his brother DK Suresh’s association with National Herald.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was grilled for over five days by the agency in June this year. The Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi was also summoned for three days in July this year.

The ED had sealed a portion of Herald building, which also houses the office of Young Indian, in Central Delhi’s Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in August. However, the premises were opened after Mallikarjun Kharge appeared before the agency for questioning during the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The Herald House is also the registered office of AJL and Young India Ltd (YIL). Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are majority shareholders of the YIL.

The ED registered a fresh case about a year ago after a trial court in Delhi took cognisance of an Income Tax Department probe. The probe was carried out based on a private complaint filed by the former BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.

Swamy claimed that Young Indian Limited (YIL) “took over” the assets of the defunct print media outlet in a “malicious” manner to gain profit and assets worth over ₹2,000 crores. The BJP leader also alleged that YIL had paid ₹50 lakhs to obtain the rights to recover ₹90.25 crores which AJL owed the Congress party.

In 2014, the ED initiated a probe to see if there was any money laundering involved in the case.

It is pertinent to note that in 2020, the ED had attached one of the prime properties in Mumbai’s Bandra under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The said property, with market value to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees, was illegally allotted to AJL.

All seven accused in the case – veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora, AICC general secretary Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda, YI and the Gandhis – have denied accusations against them.

In April 2022, senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal were also questioned by the ED.

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