M A I N   N E W S

Swamy moves EC to derecognise Cong 
National Herald Loan Reviving Nehru’s newspaper an emotional issue, says Cong 
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
The ongoing war of words between Subramanian Swamy and the Congress escalated further today with the Janata Party president approaching the Election Commission to seek derecognition of the Congress for giving an unsecured loan of Rs 90 crore to Associated Journals Ltd.

A belligerent Congress hit back, saying there was nothing amiss in extending such a loan and that it was in line with the objectives spelt out in its constitution.

Following up on Swamy’s charges, the BJP also highlighted this issue and demanded a probe into the interest-free loan given by the Congress to publishers of the now-defunct National Herald and Qaumi Awaz.

Unfazed by the twin attack, the Congress launched a counter- offensive against Swamy and the BJP for distorting facts and declared it was ready to take on their challenge at any fora. “Let Swamy go wherever he wants. We will contest this technically,” said AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

Dwivedi, who had issued the first clarification last night, today followed it up with a special media briefing where he justified the loan given by the party to Associated Journals, stating that the Congress had merely discharged its “political dharma”.

The Congress is putting its best foot forward to counter these charges as the latest controversy has placed the party’s First Family in the direct line of Opposition fire.

Swamy alleged that the Congress violated Income Tax laws as a political party cannot give loans for a commercial purpose, while BJP leader Arun Jaitley had said that a political party can only use its funds for political activities and not financial purposes.

In a sharp rebuttal, Dwivedi wanted to know the definition of political activity and who would adjudicate on this matter. “Who is to decide what is political work?” he asked, adding that it was for the Congress and not any other political party to decide what constitutes political activity.

As far as the Congress is concerned, promoting Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru’s ideals is part of its political activity, he said, adding that by extending an interest-free loan to Associated Journals, the Congress had done precisely that.

“We discharged our duty by helping an organisation that promotes Nehru and Gandhi’s ideas. This is an emotional issue for us,” Dwivedi said, pointing out that National Herald was founded by Nehru in 1937 to give strength to the freedom struggle. Dwivedi also explained that part of the loan was used to settle the dues of 700 employees of National Herald and Quami Awaz when the newspapers were closed down. “The money was paid over four years… it is all accounted for as the payments were made by cheque,” he said.

The Congress leader also dispelled the impression that Associated Journals had been wound up and replaced by a new company, ‘Young Indian’, in which Sonia and Rahul held majority shares. Young Indian, he said, had bought shares in Associated Journals and has all plans to revive National Herald. 

Cong mega rally today

Under fire, the Congress is organising a mega rally in Delhi on Sunday, primarily to garner support for the UPA’s economic reforms.

It will also provide a platform to hit out at the Opposition and the party’s other detractors.

PM Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will be the star speakers.

The Congress has prima facie committed an offence under electoral law for which it is necessary to hold hearings and decide on derecognising the party.

Subramanian Swamy, janata party president

Let Swamy go wherever he wants. We will contest this technically... We will decide what is political work for us and not any other party.

Janardan Dwivedi, aicc general secretary 







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