Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi ‘s troubles have increased again in the National Herald case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned him to appear for questioning on June 8.
Hitting back, the Congress accused the BJP of using investigative agencies as puppets to intimidate political opponents. After all, what is this whole matter and what are the allegations against Sonia and Rahul in this, let us know.
What is National Herald?
The National Herald is an English newspaper founded by the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938 during the freedom movement. Then this newspaper was considered as the mouthpiece of the Congress and the views supporting independence were printed in it.
This newspaper and the other two newspapers were run by the Associated Journal Limited (AJL) company. Nehru started this company by making another 5,000 freedom fighters shareholders, that is, it had no single owner.
What is the current dispute?
AJL closed the National Herald and other newspapers in 2008 due to losses. At that time the Congress had a debt of Rs 90.25 crore.
Congress gave the right to recover this debt to a company called Young Indian Limited (YIL), which in turn bought nine crore shares of AJL at a price of Rs 10 per share.
Due to this 99 percent shares of AJL came to YIL and it became its owner company.
How did the names of Sonia and Rahul come up?
YIL Company was formed in 2010 by Sonia and Rahul along with other Congress leaders. In this, Sonia and Rahul have 38-38 percent ie 76 percent shares and the rest of the leaders have 24 percent shares.
Congress later waived off the entire loan of AJL, which meant that Sonia and Rahul got the ownership of AJL and National Herald through YIL by spending only 50 lakhs.
What are the allegations against Sonia and Rahul?
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy claims that all this was done to take away AJL’s assets worth around Rs 2,000 crore for just Rs 50 lakh.
It also includes Herald House at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in Delhi which was leased out by the government to AJL.
They allege that Sonia-Rahul were earning money by taking this building on rent, while it was given on lease only to run the paper.
AJL shareholders also have serious allegations
People like former Union Minister Shanti Bhushan, who was a shareholder of AJL and former High Court judge Markandey Katju, allege that when YIL took over AJL, they were not given notice and their shares were transferred without consent.
What clarification has the Congress given in the matter?
Congress maintains that YIL was opened for charity and is a non-profit company. It also says that there was no scam in the transaction and it was just a business transaction to transfer shares of the company.
It has also accused the BJP government of acting politically motivated and misusing the agencies against political opponents.
What happened in the case so far?
Investigation started in the case in 2014 on Swamy’s complaint. It was closed in 2015, but it was reopened in September 2015 after new facts came to light.
Swamy also went to the Supreme Court for a speedy hearing in the case, which directed him to move the High Court. The High Court has ordered a detailed hearing.
On December 19, 2015, the trial court had granted bail to Sonia and Rahul in the case.