‘Zero tolerance…’: Rahul Gandhi on NIA-ED raids on PFI, SDPI leaders

'Zero tolerance...': Rahul Gandhi on NIA-ED raids on PFI, SDPI leaders

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called for ‘zero tolerance’ in dealing with ‘communalism and violence’ and said, “… regardless of where they come from… (all) are the same…”. “

The Congress MP was responding to a question on this morning’s pan-India raids – the National Investigation Agency, the Enforcement Directorate and local police forces targeted Popular Front of India offices and leaders in over a dozen states, including Kerala. Over 100 PFI members were arrested in the crackdown on suspected terror-funding activities.

The maximum number of arrests – 22 – were from Kerala, including PFI chairman OMA Salam, state unit chief CP Mohammed Basheer and national secretary VP Nazarudheen.

READ | ‘Not a post…’: Rahul Gandhi’s advice to Congress president hopefuls

Gandhi is in the southern state to lead his party’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.

Union home minister Amit Shah met with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and senior NIA officials, including the agency’s director-general, to review evidence collected in the raids.

The meeting took place amid growing clamour for the PFI to be banned.

Rahul Gandhi also spoke about next month’s election – when the Congress will select a ‘full-time’ president to replace Sonia Gandhi, who has been interim chief since 2019.

The ex president – who has turned down multiple calls to return to the post – told hopefuls it was more than a post; he called it a ‘historic (position)… defines a particular view of India’.

The selection of a new Congress chief has been a central demand by the G-23, a group of senior leaders critical of the party’s functioning and the Gandhis leadership.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and ex union minister Shashi Tharoor are seen as the two main contenders to replace Sonia Gandhi; Tharoor is a member of the G-23 and Gehlot is a staunch Gandhi loyalist, setting up an intriguing fight between the two camps in the party.

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