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IndiaBid to cripple Congress: Sonia targets PM on fund freeze

Bid to cripple Congress: Sonia targets PM on fund freeze


New Delhi: Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to cripple the Congress financially before the upcoming , party's top leader Sonia Gandhi on Thursday demanded that the party be given access to its bank accounts so that there was a level playing field in the country.

Addressing a press conference here, the Congress parliamentary party president said all its bank accounts had been frozen by the Income Tax Department in connection with a 2018 case.

“The issue is very, very serious and affects not just the Indian Congress — it impacts our democracy itself most fundamentally,” Sonia said. She said money from the Congress' accounts had been taken away forcefully by I-T officers. “Systematic efforts are underway by the PM to cripple the Congress financially,” she said.

“On the one hand is the electoral bonds issue, on the other, finances of the principal opposition party are under assault,” she said.

“Even under these challenges, we are doing our best to maintain effectiveness of our campaign,” she asserted.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former president Rahul Gandhi also addressed the press conference. “Besides knocking the door of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and the high court, we are also approaching public regarding the BJP's attempt to cut off Congress' fund flow,” party treasurer Ajay Maken said.

He said due to the paucity of funds, the Congress was not able to book slots in the print and electronic media for giving advertisements. The party was not able to advertise on social media platforms also due to it, he added.

Rahul said, “We can do no campaign work. Our ability to fight elections has been damaged.” He claimed it was not freezing of Congress' accounts, but a “freezing of Indian democracy”. “There is no democracy in today. The proclamation that India is the 's largest democracy is a complete lie,” said Rahul, terming the freezing of accounts a criminal action by the PM and the Home Minister. “There are institutions that are supposed to protect the democratic framework, but nothing is happening,” Rahul said. Kharge said the BJP amassed funds through electoral bonds while freezing the Congress' accounts to create hurdles for it in contesting the upcoming elections.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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