After the ED attached assets of the party-promoted National Herald newspaper, the Congress on Tuesday said such "petty vendetta tactics" cannot frighten it and dubbed the probe agency a "coalition partner" of the BJP.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the property attachment order reflected the BJP's desperation to divert attention from its certain defeat in the ongoing assembly polls in five states.
"No BJP coalition partner - CBI, ED or I-T Department - can prevent the impending defeat of the BJP.... These petty vendetta tactics shall not frighten the Indian National Congress in any way," he said in a statement.
"An assignment of loan without transfer of any immovable property or movement of money is being dressed up to justify attachment and freezing of assets of a company which runs an iconic voice of the Indian independence movement - the National Herald - only because it is linked to the Congress party and its legacy," he said.
The Congress leader said the action of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was aimed at diverting people's attention in the middle of polls.
"There are no proceeds of crime. Indeed, there is no complainant who claims to have been cheated: not a single one!! This is a prefabricated structure of deceit, lies and falsehood, of, by and for the BJP, to divert, distract and digress in the middle of elections," he said.
In a statement, the ED said a provisional attachment order has been issued by the federal probe agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) and Young Indian (YI).
The ED said it has issued the order to provisionally attach properties worth Rs 751.9 crore in the money laundering case being investigated by it.
The federal probe agency also alleged in the statement that the shareholders and donors of the Congress were "cheated" by the office-bearers of AJL and the party.
"Investigation revealed that Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) is in possession of proceeds of crime in the form of immovable properties spread across many cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow to the tune of Rs. 661.69 crore and Young Indian (YI) is in possession of proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs. 90.21 crore in the form of investment in equity shares of AJL," it said.
The National Herald is published by AJL and owned by Young Indian Private Limited. Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are majority shareholders of Young Indian, holding 38 per cent shares each.
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