Cong, BJP spar over raids on Vadra aides

The Asian Age - - Front Page -

New Delhi, Dec. 8: Even as the Congress stepped up its at­tack on the BJPled govern­ment over ED raids against Robert Vadra’s as­so­ciates, ac­cus­ing Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi of us­ing probe agen­cies for “po­lit­i­cal ven­detta”, the BJP lashed out by dub­bing Mr Vadra the “foun­tain­head of cor­rup­tion”.

Se­nior Congress lead­ers Kapil Sibal, Ahmed Pa­tel and Ran­deep Sur­je­w­ala held a press con­fer­ence on Satur­day evening, hours af­ter the En­force­ment Direc­torate ( ED) car­ried out raids against Mr Vadra’s as­so­ciates for the sec­ond day.

The raids against three per­sons linked to Mr Vadra, the son- in- law of Congress leader So­nia Gandhi, had started Fri­day.

“Peo­ple are be­ing harassed, held prac­ti­cally un­der ar­rest in their houses, raided with­out any no­tice. Is this the kind of change Modi had ad­vo­cated for in ( the) 2014 ( Lok Sabha) elec­tion?”, Mr Sibal asked at the press con­fer­ence.

He al­leged that agen­cies like the ED were “act­ing on the direc­tions of the Prime Min­is­ter”.

Of­fi­cial sources said the ac­tion was taken on the ba­sis of two FIRs filed by the agency.

Sens­ing re­jec­tion in the just- con­cluded Assem­bly polls in five states, the Modi govern­ment is in a “state of panic of the high­est de­gree” and that’s why it is us­ing “high- handed tac­tics” to threaten peo­ple.

Congress spokesper­son Ab­hishek Manu Singhvi said at an­other press con­fer­ence ear­lier in the day that the coun­try has never wit­nessed such a “ter­ror raj”. Re­spond­ing to the Congress, BJP spokesper­son Sam­bit Pa­tra said the Congress used to call Mr Vadra a pri­vate cit­i­zen af­ter his name cropped up in cor­rup­tion cases but now the whole party stands be­hi­nad him. “It im­plies that he is only a con­duit and the fi­nal track prob­a­bly leads to the fam­ily,” he said, tar­get­ing the Gandhi fam­ily.

“This is called char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion by in­nu­en­dos and in­sin­u­a­tions. When they do not have facts, this is what they do… All these raids and searches against var­i­ous peo­ple are a ploy to di­vert the at­ten­tion of the peo­ple from the real is­sues and the BJP’s fail­ures,” Mr Singhvi claimed. “The Congress feels cor­rup­tion was its birthright and it had some kind of im­mu­nity from the law of the land just be­cause they be­longed to “first fam­ily”,” Mr Pa­tra said.

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