Days after the Enforcement Directorate’s questioning Congress president in the Nation Heral money laundering case, the probe agency on Tuesday reportedly conducted searches at multiple places, including the newspaper’s headquarters at Delhi’s Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.
The ED has raided around 12 locations including the offices of the newspaper in Delhi and several other premises linked to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the company that runs the National Herald newspaper founded by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
This came days after questioning Gandhi in an alleged money laundering case in which she had appeared for three rounds of questioning amid massive protests across the nation by Congress workers.
The ED had also questioned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in June for nearly 50 hours over 5 days.
Hitting back at the government, the Congress party said that the opposition’s questioning on crucial issues like inflation, and unemployment had put the government on the back foot. They are unable to answer the people of the country so they are trying to humiliate and blackmail those who are asking uncomfortable questions, Congress said.
The Gandhis are being investigated in an alleged National Herald money laundering case involving the Young Indian’s takeover of Associated Journals Limited (AJL).
The ED said the Young Indian also took over Rs 800 crore in assets of the AJL. Denying any wrongdoing in the case, the Congress said that the Young Indian is a not-for-profit organization and so, there can be no question of money laundering.
The Congress leaders and workers have organized protests across the country against the questioning of the top leaders of the party. They allege the case is politically motivated and the Centre is using probe agencies for political vendetta.
Ganesh Chaturthi: Home Minister Amit Shah offers prayers at Mumbai’s Lalbaugcha Raja | Watch here
Amit Shah visited Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s official residence Varsha and offered prayers to the Ganapati idol installed there.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday visited Mumbai’s famous Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Pandal. On the auspicious occasion, the Home Minister along with his family offered prayers to Lord Ganesha. Every year, Amit Shah visits Lalbaugcha Raja to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha.
Lalbaugcha Raja is one of the oldest and the most popular mandals in the metropolis attracting around one crore devotees including celebrities and politicians. Celebrities who visited Lalbaugcha Raja to offer prayers to Lord Ganesh this year includes Shah Rukh Khan, Kartik Aryan, Vicky Kaushal, Pulkit Sharma, Manjot Singh and Varun Sharma, Varun Dhawan, Esha Deol, Sunny Leone, Urfi Javed among others.
Following his visit to Lalbaugcha Raja, Amit Shah visited Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s official residence Varsha and offered prayers to the Ganapati idol installed there. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also seen along with the Home Minister seeking blessings from Lord Ganesha.
In the evening, Amit Shah is set to take part in the Laxmanrao Inamdar Memorial lecture, which will be organized at the Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Convocation Hall on the Fort campus of Mumbai University. He will depart for Delhi at 7 pm. According to an official statement from the Mumbai University, Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar will also attend the event.
The Memorial lecture is being conducted by the varsity in association with Sahakar Bharati, a pan-India organisation of Co-Operators and Co-Operatives, founded by Inamdar, popularly known as the ‘Vakil Saheb’ of RSS.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah was present at the first official meeting of the High-Level ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee that took place under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind. The first meeting was held at Jodhpur hostel.
One Nation, One Election: Former President Ram Nath Kovind chairs first official meeting in Jodhpur
During the meeting, the members decided to hold discussion and get suggestions from the stakeholders and the political parties on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.
The first official meeting of the High-Level ‘One Nation, One Election’ Committee was conducted on Saturday under the chairmanship of former President Ram Nath Kovind. The first meeting was held at Jodhpur hostel. The meeting witnessed the participation of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and former Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad among others.
During the meeting, the members decided to hold discussion and get suggestions from the stakeholders and recognised national political parties on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’, according to reports. In addition, the committee members also decided that if any of the political parties want to seek an appointment with the committee, it will be allowed to give their suggestions.
The committee members also deliberated to get the views of the stakeholders like the Election Commission of India, Law Commission Of India and other bodies. Reportedly, the members also primarily discussed how the committee will function and on which issues it needs to have deliberations with the concerned to build a consensus on the idea of the ‘one nation, one election’.
Furthermore, the panel also discussed how it needs to examine various scenarios for the simultaneous elections and make recommendations on how situations like a hung assembly or adoption of a no-confidence motion will be tackled.
Along with Kovind, Azad and Shah, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, former chairman of the 15th Finance Commission N.K Singh, former Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap, senior advocate Harish Salve and former Chief vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari are the other names, who are the part of the eight-member panel.
However, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury declined an invitation to be part of the eight-member committee formed by the Union government to examine the ‘One nation, One election’ concept. The Congress leader also did not attend the first official meeting in Jodhpur. As per reports, the committee will look into the feasibility of holding not only Lok Sabha and assembly elections simultaneously, but also elections to municipalities and panchayats.
Supriya Sule to move privilege motion against BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri
The NCP leader further mentioned that two days ago, Ramesh Bidhuri had heckled a senior member of the Parliament.
NCP MP Supriya Sule along with a TMC leader have written to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla stating their intention to move a privilege motion against BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri. Reportedly, during the discussion of Chandrayaan 3 success, Bidhuri’s remarks calling his parliament colleague a terrorist, militant etc triggered an uproar in the House with opposition leaders demanding strong action against him.
Notably, if the privilege motion is carried forward, it could potentially result in serious consequences to BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri. Speaking on the matter, NCP leader Supriya Sule said that Ramesh Bidhuri is a frequent offender, adding that she along with a TMC leader wrote to Om Birla regarding moving a privilege motion against the BJP MP. The NCP leader further mentioned that two days ago, Ramesh Bidhuri had heckled a senior member of the Parliament. She expressed that she condemns such unruly behaviour.
Meanwhile, Clyde Crasto, the national spokesperson of NCP’s Sharad Pawar-led group, expressed his dismay at the behaviour of BJP MPs Harsh Vardhan and Ravi Shankar Prasad, who were observed laughing instead of intervening to correct Bidhuri’s remarks. The spokesperson noted that what is very disgusting is that BJP MPs Harsh Vardhan and Ravi Shankar Prasad were laughing instead of stopping or correcting Bidhuri from speaking in such a manner.
Crasto further urged immediate action against Bidhuri, enquiring why he has not yet faced suspension. The NCP spokesperson said that the Lok Sabha Speaker must take action immediately. Will the BJP suspend him from the party, or will they give him a promotion, he questioned.
Reacting to the developments, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey called for an investigation into the conduct and remarks of Danish Ali as well. Nishikant Dubey, while condemning Bidhuri’s comments, underlined that parliamentary decorum must be upheld. He highlighted that obstructing another MP and providing a running commentary during their allotted time are actions that warrant reprimand under Lok Sabha rules.