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Centre will have to pay 'hefty price' for suppressing Rahul Gandhi's voice, warns Baghel over ED probe in National Herald case

New Delhi : Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) probe against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday said the centre will have to pay a 'hefty price' for attempting to suppress the voice of the Wayanad MP. Addressing a press conference here, Chief Minister Baghel said, "We cannot bring our own staff to the AICC office now. Office bearers cannot come to Office. We were told that only 2 CMs can come here and no one else has permission. This kind of situation never rose where members of political parties cannot enter office. Why is this happening?" "It is because one person is raising his voice against the wrongdoings of the Centre for the last 8 years. The person is Rahul Gandhi. Be it GST, demonetization, COVID, mismanagement, lockdown, unemployment, inflation or the security of borders, Rahul Gandhi has been raising his voice against every important issue," said the Congress leader. Baghel further slammed said the Centre for allegedly misusing central agencies against the Opposition leaders. "They want to suppress Rahul Gandhi. They are misusing the central agencies against Opposition leaders in order to suppress them. Now they are trying to use these tactics against Rahul Gandhi. 'Unhone Rahul Gandhi ke muh mei haath daalne ki koshish ki hai, unko bahut mehengi padegi'," he added. Congress leaders and workers have been protesting outside the Congress headquarters over ED's probe against Rahul Gandhi. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi rejoined ED's ongoing investigation in connection with an alleged money laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper for the third consecutive day. Rahul Gandhi has been questioned over 20 hours since Monday when he deposed before the ED investigators in the case for the first time. As per official sources, Rahul Gandhi was confronted with several documents collated by the ED as evidence recovered so far in the case to get his version.He was questioned in detail about the ownership of Young Indian Private Limited (YIL) by the Gandhi family and its shareholding pattern in Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the company that runs the National Herald newspaper, said sources. Investigators in the ED, sources said, have also asked Rahul Gandhi to describe the circumstances under which AJL was acquired by YIL in 2010, making it the owner of all assets owned by the National Herald newspaper. The National Herald, started by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was published by the AJL. In 2010, the AJL, which faced financial difficulties, was taken over by a newly-floated YIL with Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda as directors, both of them Gandhi loyalists. In a complaint in the Delhi High Court, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy accused Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul Gandhi, and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds. Officials familiar with the probe said Rahul Gandhi is being asked questions about the takeover of the AJL by YIL since the Gandhis have stakes in the latter. The Congress leader is being questioned under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED is also learnt to have recorded a statement of Rahul Gandhi to know about the incorporation of the YIL, the operations of the National Herald and the fund transfer within the news media establishment. The ED is also investigating the financial transactions as well as role of party functionaries in the functioning of AJL and YIL. Some of the top leaders of the Congress party including Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, KC Venugopal, Gaurav Gogoi, Deepender Singh Hooda, Ranjeet Ranjan, Imran Pratapgarhi and others were detailed on Tuesday during their protest over Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe against party leader Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case. Among the detainees also included Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala. The leaders were detained while they were marching towards the ED office in the national capital from the Congress headquarters, Akbar Road. The Congress's "Satyagraha protest" - against what it claimed was the alleged misuse of the probe agencies by the Centre - began early on Monday. Sloganeering, demonstrations, posters, air balloons were seen at party headquarters and other parts of the national capital.

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