The Congress party on Saturday (December 8) termed the raids of Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the properties of close associates of Robert Vadra as ‘dirty and malicious tricks’ of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that faced with an imminent loss in all five states where assembly elections were held recently, “The Modi government is back to its dirty tricks and malicious tactics,” according to an ANI report.
“The tools being employed by the Modi government to hide its massive failures are mudslinging, muckraking and hatchet jobs by the dirty tricks department–the CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] and the ED, to smear opposition leaders,” ANI quoted Singhvi as saying.
“The illegal raids on the premises of Robert Vadra and his associates is another episode of these concerted conspiracies, blind vendetta acts and web of lies to target the Congress party,” Singhvi said.
Targetting the Modi government, Singhvi said while all constitutional, legal and administrative norms “are being thrown into a dustbin,” the central government organisations like CBI, ED and Income Tax Department are “acting as slaves and bonded labour” which are “dancing to the tune of” Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Meanwhile, another Congress leader and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal asked, “What kind of government is it? If law enforcement agencies start hooliganism then who will question them? If they are supported by the prime minister, who will question them? Where is the law and order in the country?”
ANI quoted Sibal as saying, “The people in power, especially PM, is thinking that the exit polls are right and are scared. People in Opposition are being targetted by sending IT [Income Tax], ED. I want to ask Modi ji, rather blame him, why such things are happening in his rule.”
“There was no FIR, ECIR [Enforcement Case Investigation Report] against Vadra Ji and people of Enforcement Directorate reached his offices without any warrant. They don’t say their names and when asked to wait by the people in the office to get keys to the office, they broke into the office,” Sibal added.
Congress leaders Kapil Sibal (centre), Ahmed Patel (left) and Randeep Surjewala during special press briefing in New Delhi on December 8 | Photo from PTI
It is worth mentioning that Robert Vadra, son-in-law of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, has been on the radar of Enforcement Directorate and the CBI for allegedly committing irregularities ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power at the Centre in 2014.
Congress worker Jagdish Sharma was also released by ED today (December 8). He was detained by ED this morning. He told ANI, “ED pressurising me to name Robert Vadra.”
WHAT HAD HAPPENED
The ED on Friday (December 7) conducted raids at two offices of businessman Robert Vadra. Raids were carried out at the Delhi and Bengaluru offices of Vadra’s firm Sunlight Hospitality in connection with alleged commissions received by some suspects in defence deals.
ED officials reached Vadra’s South Delhi office on Friday evening. Vadra was not present at the Sukhdev Vihar office but his team of lawyers met ED officials.
Lawyer of Robert Vadra addresses the media, after the premises of three people linked to Vadra were raided by Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi on December 7, 2018 | Photo from PTI
Vadra’s lawyer asserted that the raids were part of a conspiracy to falsely implicate the son-in-law of Congress matriarch Sonia Gandhi.
ED officials clarified that no raids had been conducted on Vadra. “The searches were linked to two employees of Vadra over money-laundering allegations. They are alleged to have acquired assets abroad, allegedly bought using commissions from certain defence deals,” they said.