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National Herald Case: Why Rahul Gandhi And Sonia Gandhi Landed In Trouble?
Many Congress leaders came out in support and chanted slogans. In the process of supporting the young congress members were pulled and taken away in buses
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Earlier this week, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had issued a writ to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, as the ED had suspected something fishy in regards to money laundering.
The central agency has claimed that the irregularities have been observed in the party-promoted Young Indian, which owns the National Herald newspaper. Rahul Gandhi was not present in India during this investigation, so he appeared before the ED on 08 June 2022.
Randeep Singh Surjewala, the General Secretary, Indian National Congress (INC) had tweeted regarding Congress President Sonia Gandhi that she was not in pink health and had been admitted to Ganga Ram Hospital owing to Covid-19 infection. Due to her sickly condition, she has been asked to appear before 23 June 2022.
The allegation made against the Gandhi family was that they had looted and gained a profit of Rs 414 crore in the form of property owned by the Gandhi family.
Under the Prevention of Laundering Act, under Section 50, the federal agency is deeply scrutinising the books of the trust, which is owned by the Gandhi family, to know whether there is any involvement of the firm in hawala operations.
Despite all the allegations, Rahul Gandhi confidently passed a statement at the Udaipur Nav Sankalp that he has not borrowed a single penny from his own country and has not deceived anyone. Adding further, he said that he would fight against this full-fledgedly.
The case was registered 9 months ago, about the financial contortion. Rahul Gandhi was asked about his association with two companies—Young Indian Limited (YIL), and Associated Journals Limited (AJL).
Debts overloaded on National Herald’s shoulders
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, had set up a company named Associated Journals Limited in 1937. The company officials did not belong to anyone, as the company had 5000 shareholders who were freedom fighters. In 1938, AJL started the publication of the National Herald Case so that it became the voice of the liberal party in Congress. APL started to topple by 2008, as the company AJL was under a huge loss of Rs.90.26 crore. Initially, AJL was set up in different parts of the country for the purpose of publishing newspapers and other publications in different newspapers. Nonetheless, the properties were also given for rent to aid the publication business, which was on the verge of shutting down.
But the financial issues headed south. On 31st March 2010, the company was over-burdened with a loan of Rs 88,86,68,976 and an additional loan of Rs. 1.35 crore was added to the misery. AJL had transferred the aggregated loan of 90.21 crore to its appellant company, Young India. 99.99 per cent of AJL shares were also transferred to Young India.
In 2010, Rahul Gandhi was chosen for the post of young Indian director in its initial Managing Committee meeting. A majority of the shares (76 per cent) are owned by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. In order to obtain 100 per cent ownership of the company, Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra purchased additional shares from Ratan Deep Trust and Janhit Nidhi Trust for Rs 47,513 and Rs 2,62,411, respectively.
Anguish spread by Congress party workers
After the interrogations by ED, several Congress party members and Mahila Congress workers expressed their torment by protesting at the Congress headquarters on Akbar Road, Delhi. In a brutal crackdown, the police beat the protestors and have foisted restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code which forbids the gathering of four or more persons in the surrounding areas near the Congress Headquarters.
Commenting upon the pathetic treatment given to the protestors, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said that the condition in Delhi is a matter of concern and the government is putting an end to democracy.
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala also implicated this act of Delhi police by mentioning that they have entered the party office forcefully and are infringing the Section 144, where anyone who enters into or upon property which another person owns with an intention of harming or insulting or committing an offence or have unlawfully insulted or annoyed any person will be charged under ‘Criminal trespass’.
Subramanian Swamy Commentary
BJP leader, Subramanian Swamy had alleged in 2011, that Young Indian was drifted by the Gandhis to acquire the real estate property owned by AJL. In 2013, he also claimed that both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were involved in a fraud case of their own party and went to the trial court in 2013.
Recently, he expressed his concerns over this by mentioning that this is a huge scam as Young Indian had only paid Rs. 5 lakh in its share, instead it had to return Rs 50 lakh to Congress. One crore loan was obtained through the wrong means from Kolkata-based Dotex company and 50 lakh was then paid off. The amount was given in the form of donations by the Kolkata company, claims social journals.
Recent Updates in this case
After the second quizzing, Rahul Gandhi along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadhra went to the hospital to check on their mother. Until now, Gandhi has witnessed 30 hours of interrogation by ED. The probe agency recorded his official statements under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Many Congress leaders came out in support and chanted slogans. In the process of supporting the young congress members were pulled and taken away in buses.
On Friday, the Congress leader is being asked to face ED for the fourth time.