New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has tested positive for Covid-19 again, party leader Jairam Ramesh informed via social media. Earlier this week, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had also tested positive.
Taking to his Twitter handle, Congress MP Ramesh wrote, “Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi has tested positive for Covid-19 today. She will remain in isolation as per Govt. protocol.”
Earlier, Sonia Gandhi could not appear for ED questioning in National Herald Case on June 8 after testing positive and being hospitalized for Covid-19. The Congress leader had developed a mild fever on June 1 evening and was found COVID-19 positive upon testing the next morning.
After her discharge from the hospital, she had asked for more time to appear before the agency.
The case to investigate alleged financial irregularities under the PMLA was registered about nine months ago after a trial court took cognisance of an Income Tax department probe carried out on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.
The petitioner had approached the court alleging that the assets of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which published the National Herald newspaper, were fraudulently acquired and transferred to Young Indian Pvt Limited (YIL), in which Sonia Gandhi and her son owned 38 per cent shares each.
The YIL promoters include Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Swamy had alleged that the Gandhis cheated and misappropriated funds, with YIL paying only ₹ 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover ₹ 90.25 crore that AJL owed to Congress.
Congress argued that YIL is a not-for-profit company under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 that can neither accumulate profits nor pay dividends to its shareholders.
Calling it a case of political vendetta, senior Supreme Court advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi had said, “This is truly a very weird case — an alleged money laundering case on which summons are issued with no money involved.” The federal agency’s move followed the questioning of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress Treasurer Pawan Bansal in April this year.
The agency then recorded the statements of both the Congress leaders then under the PMLA. The National Herald is published by AJL and owned by YIL. While Kharge is the CEO of YIL, Bansal is the Managing Director of AJL. The ED is investigating the shareholding pattern and financial transactions as well as role of party functionaries in the functioning of AJL and YIL.
With PTI Inputs.