ED grills Ahmed Patel for 7 hours
The money-laundering case pertains to the alleged Rs14,500-crore bank-loan fraud allegedly perpetrated by Sterling Biotech and its main promoters and directors Nitin Jayantilal Sandesara, Chetankumar Jayantilal Sandesara and Deepti Sandesara. All are absconding.
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday questioned veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel for about seven hours during the fourth round of grilling at his official residence in connection with the Sandesara brothers-promoted Sterling Biotech company bank fraud and money laundering case.
A 3-member team from the ED reached the Rajya Sabha MP's 23, Mother Teresa Crescent residence in the Lutyens' zone of central Delhi at 11 am and left at about 7pm.
Speaking to reporters at his residence after the interrogation, Patel called it "political vendetta" of the Modi government. He asked the ED to probe the BJP's trusts as well. The ED always tips off the media before sending its sleuths to Patel's residence, but not a word about it on its official website and twitter account. "Our (Cong) trust is being probed, either Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) or Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, they (BJP) too have trusts which should be investigated. How did they get donations? Even when we were in power and after that, we are being probed continuously, but we have an account of each and every transaction made. Whatever probe they want to do, they can. Let the law take its course," Patel said.
Patel told reporters the investigators asked him 24 questions, and this totals to 152 questions asked to him during four sittings. "The ED should also question people from the ruling party and their relatives apart from the Congress so that it is felt that they are doing their job in an unbiased manner," he said.
Patel (70) is currently the treasurer of the Congress and has earlier been the political secretary to UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.