New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Aam Aadmi Party national secretary Pankaj Gupta in connection with an investigation that the party has said it is unaware of, Indian Express has reported.
Gupta has been summoned under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said, adding that the case is likely “fabricated.”
AAP convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has tweeted on the summons saying that it is a tactic employed by the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre ahead of key state elections in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Gujarat.
In Delhi they tried to defeat us with IT Dept, CBI, Delhi Police – but we won 62 seats. As we grow in Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, Guj – we get an ED notice! The people of India want honest politics- these tactics of BJP will never succeed, they will make us stronger https://t.co/JjWy7MQfH4
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) September 13, 2021
In a press conference, Chadha made a similar statement and said Gupta had been asked to appear before the agency on September 22 at 11.30 am at its office.
“In an unending quest to persecute the AAP, the Modi government’s favourite agency Enforcement Directorate has been pressed into service and has dispatched a love letter (notice) to the AAP,” he said.
@raghav_chadha lashes out at Modi’s puppet ED!
— AAP Assam (@AAP4Assam) September 13, 2021
The Rajinder Nagar MLA alleged that the BJP is rattled by the increasing popularity of the party’s national convenor Arvind Kejriwal and the rising graph of the party.
“When you (BJP) can’t electorally assassinate us you try to character assassinate us. As soon as opinion polls show that Kejriwal is getting popularity, agencies like ED are pressed into service to seek political revenge and character assassinate AAP,” Chadha alleged.
Chadha alleged that in the last few years the Centre had sent the CBI to raid the CM’s office and Delhi Police to raid the chief minister’s house. “CBI raided twice at the residence of deputy CM Manish Sisodia but found nothing,” he alleged.
In 2015, CBI had indeed raided Kejriwal’s office in connection with the corruption case against then principal secretary Rajendra Kumar.
“We pray to God that rule of law should prevail over the rule of vendetta politics,” Chadha said.
AAP’s is the latest among allegations that Central investigation agencies like the CBI, NIA and ED are increasingly being used by the Bharatiya Janata Party government to specifically target opposition leaders.
The Wire had earlier reported on how ED chief S.K. Mishra, who is overseeing multiple cases of alleged money laundering against opposition leaders, received a one-year extension last year days before of the end of his two-year fixed tenure.
Mishra, an Indian Revenue Service officer was appointed as the ED Director for two years by an order of November 19, 2018. Later, by an order of November 13, 2020, the appointment letter was modified retrospectively by the Union government and his two-year term was made for three years. A few days ago, the Supreme Court upheld Mishra’s extension but said that no further extensions could be given to him.
(With PTI inputs)