The Congress lashed out at the Modi government over the Enforcement Directorate’s raid on the house of a senior journalist in connection with alleged defence deals by three persons linked to firms of Robert Vadra.

Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the searches were “vendetta politics” by the Modi government, which is “unnerved” by the prospect of defeat in the assembly elections in five states.

Surjewala alleged that raid on the house of Ramesh Kumar Sharma, the father-in-law of one of the persons linked to Vadra, was “illegal”.

“Ramesh Kumar Sharma is a 64-year-old man and the vice-president on Hindustan Times. They have illegally raided his house without a warrant and detained him and his wife for 10 hours. They also ransacked his house,” Surjewala alleged.

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the searches and especially the raid on Sharma’s house, Surjewala said that it is an attack on the freedom of press.

“Is this how the family of a journalist should be treated? Will you enter and vandalise any journalist’s home in this manner? Is this not an attack on freedom of press?” Surjewala said.

“Who gave Modi-ji this right? He must answer what kind of rule of law attacks journalists,” the Congress spokesperson said.

Surjewala also alleged that the raids were conducted on the offices of Vadra without any FIR or search warrant.

On Friday, the ED raided the premises of three persons, two of them linked to Vadra – Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law. The agency reportedly said that the suspects had acquired assets abroad, allegedly using commissions from the defence deals.

The searches were conducted in the Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.