Edited by Amit Chaturvedi | Updated: November 03, 2012 19:15 IST
Under attack from the BJP after allegations made by Mr Swamy against Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, the Congress yesterday admitted to at least one of the accusations. In a statement released late Friday evening, the party that it had indeed made “interest-free loans from which no commercial profit has accrued to the Indian National Congress”. The statement said, “The Indian National Congress has done its duty… to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the law of the land. (Read: Full statement)
Mr Swamy had alleged that the Gandhis floated a private company Young Indians to “illicitly” acquire a public limited company Associated Journal, which published National Herald, for Rs. 50 lakhs. The company they acquired, he says, has property worth Rs. 1600 crore in Delhi. Mr Swamy also alleged that the Congress gave an unsecured loan of Rs. 90 crore to Associated Journals. (Read)
Mr Gandhi has threatened him with legal action. “Our attention has been drawn to your purported press conference of the afternoon of November 1. The allegations made by you are utterly false, entirely baseless and defamatory,” Rahul Gandhi’s office said in a letter to Mr Swamy.
Mr Swamy yesterday scoffed at Mr Gandhi’s threat of legal action. “My advice to Rahul Gandhi is to grow up and go to the court,” he said, also denying that he had been sent any letter. (Read)
The BJP has asked the Congress to answer Mr Swamy’s allegations. If it was true, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, that the Congress had paid Rs. 90 crores to Associated Journals, then it violated tax and electoral laws. “A political party is not allowed to give loans to anyone,” the BJP leader said, adding that such a transfer could land the Congress into much trouble. A political party, he said, could only use funds it collected for political purposes and not for commercial uses.
Sam Pitroda, technocrat and adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on the managing committee of Young Indians, has also threatened legal action against Mr Swamy. “There are lots of legal options against this motivated and irresponsible content. To be frank and fair, I am surprised that these things are going on in India today. I don’t know how else to respond. I would rather spend time and energy worrying about development.” (Read)
The Congress’ Manish Tewari, who has just taken over as Information and Broadcasting Minister accused the Opposition of indulging in “scoot-and-shoot” in what he called a season for allegations. The charges made by Mr Swamy, he said, were “totally baseless. The BJP cannot question us on corruption. They should look at themselves first.”
Mr Swamy’s Janata Party belongs to the NDA, the coalition of Opposition parties led by the BJP. He has said that the Gandhis together own 76 per cent of Young Indians, a company which was incorporated in November, 2010. He has alleged that it went on to acquire the Associated Journals, which was founded by Jawaharlal Nehru and others in 1938 to publish newspapers that would offer Indians an option to British publications. The National Herald was published first in 1938; it closed down in 2008. (Read: Swamy’s charges)
Mr Swamy has alleged that the Young Indians wrote off the 90-crore loan from the Congress for Rs.50 lakhs, and by a board resolution, the Associated Journals was sold by transferring its shares to Young Indians. Through this, Mr Swamy said, a public firm morphed into a private company.
Apart from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who hold 38 per cent each in the company, the Young Indians board includes veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora, former minister Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda and Suman Dubey.
Mr Swamy has alleged that the Young Indians’ shareholders meeting “was held in Sonia Gandhi’s Government allotted 10, Janpath. This is violation of the law since the 10, Janpath, New Delhi Government accommodation cannot be used for commercial purposes and business.” The Janata Party chief has sought an inquiry by the CBI and the Corporate Affairs Ministry.
PTs: A Rajiv Gandhi loyalist just called me on a safe phone to tell me that the AICC loan is illegal because CWC was not told!! No Minutes!
SoniaG, President of Indian National Congress faces the moment of truth. She must remember the quote: Glory, built on selfish principles, is shame and guilt — William Cowper
Announce the winding up of the Congress and do prayascittam, render true social service.
Simhasan khaali karo, ke janataa aati hai. सिंहासन खाली करो के जनता आती है
Please find attached Letter as a petition submitted to the Election Commission by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, President, Janata Party, today on 3rd November 2012, for seeking de-recognition of the Congress Party
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November 3, 2012
From: President, Janata Party, New Delhi
To: The Secretary, Election Commission of India, Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi (Received by ECI on 3 Nov. 2012)
Petition for seeking de-recognition of the All India Congress Party headed by Ms. Sonia Gandhi as President
Please treat this letter as a Petition to the Election Commission for holding hearings under Paragraph 16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968 whereunder you are empowered to suspend or withdraw recognition to a political party for its failure to follow lawful directions and instructions of the Election Commission.
According to the Election Law as codified in Section 29A-C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (Annexure 2), read with the relevant Rules, Orders and Guidelines for political parties, and also read with Section 13A of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (Annexure 3), I hereby state that the written admission by senior Congress leader and Spokesman, Mr. Janardhan Dwivedi, in his press release dated November 2, 2012 (Annexure 1) admitting that the Indian National Congress had loaned (a sum of more than Rs. 90 crores) to a company incorporated under Section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956 by name Associated Journals Pvt. Ltd.
This loan (of such a substantial amount) is in violation of the Guidelines and Rules that has to be mandatorily followed by political parties for registration as well as recognition. Section 29A to C of the RPA (1951) and Section 13A of IT Act (1961) do not make any provision for a political party to extend lons to companies, with or without interest. By virtue of the General Clauses Act, this means the intention of the Parliament was to prohibit parties from giving loans. Rules and Guidelines also make it mandatory that no political party shall utilize its right to receive donations to extend loans to commercial ventures whether the loan is with or without interest and every political party must use funds for its political activity only. As pointed out in Parliament by a Minister (Annexure 4) in a matter of the BCCI which as a charitable institution, got income tax exemption, this exemption was not only cancelled but a severe fine was imposed for the offence of extending a loan to the IPL. Applying the radio of this decision, the Congress Party has prima facie committed an offence under the electoral law as well as the Income-tax law for which it is necessary for you to hold hearings. I submit, the Election Commission therefore must decide under Paragraph 16A of the said Symbol Order to de-recognize the All India Congress Party. I am moving this application in the public interest and as the President of the Janata Party founded in 1977 by Jayaprakash Naryan, and which is a registered party with the Election Commission of India.
Sd. Subramanian Swamy
Please click below to view Dr.Swamy’s letter to Election Commission
Subramanian Swamy moves Election Commission seeking de-recognition of Congress INDIA TODAY ONLINE | New Delhi, November 3, 2012 | 16:02 Swamy has alleged wrongdoing by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy on Saturday filed a petition before the Election Commission seeking de-recognition of the Congress party for ‘providing’ interest-free loan to The Associated Journals Limited, publisher of National Herald and other newspapers. Earlier on Friday Swamy tweeted, “Based on Congi confession of the loan crime yesterday I am filing a Petition today before ECI seeking De-recognition of Congi party.” The Congress in its defense had said it had done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals Limited, publisher of National Herald and other newspapers, in the form of an interest-free loan from which no commercial profit accrued to the party. “The Indian National Congress (INC) has done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals Limited to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the laws of the land,” Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in a statement. “The support was extended in the form of an interest free loan from which no commercial profit has accrued to the INC,” said Dwivedi. National Herald was founded by Jawaharlal Nehru (who became India’s first prime minister in 1947) in 1937, and played a role in the freedom struggle, said the Congress. Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy had on Thursday alleged “wrongdoing” by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi vis-a-vis the takeover of Herald House in Delhi. BJP leader Arun Jaitley joined Swamy on Friday in asking the Congress to come clear if it had given a loan of Rs.90 crore to the company floated by the Gandhis. The Congress challenged Swamy to prove his allegations. Dwivedi said that “in furtherance of its object and its political activities, it is a matter of pride for the INC that it has supported The Associated Journals Limited, publisher of National Herald and other newspapers, founded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937, which has played a role in our freedom struggle.” BJP leader Arun Jaitley also joined Swamy on Friday in asking the Congress to come clear if it had given a loan of Rs 90 crore to the company floated by the Gandhis. The Congress challenged Swamy to prove his allegations. — With inputs from IANS http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/subramanian-swamy-moves-election-commission-seeking-de-recognition-of-congress/1/227540.html What is the locus stand of Young Indian? Congress cannot give loans, it is not a charitable body, says Swamy
Congress cannot give loans, it is not a charitable body, says Swamy POLITICS NEWS, Updated Nov 03, 2012 at 01:52pm IST New Delhi: Keeping up with his attack on the Congress, Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy on Saturday slammed it saying it wasn’t a charitable organisation to extend loans. Breaking its silence, the Congress on Friday rejected allegations levelled by Swamy and maintained that its support to National Herald newspaper was interest free loans yielding no commercial profit to the party. Swamy, however, termed it a confession by the Congress of its “loan crime” and said that he would file a petition with the Election Commission of India seeking to de-recognise the party. Tweeting early on Saturday, Swamy said, “After the Congress confession of the loan crime (on Friday), I am filing a petition today before the ECI seeking de-recognition of Congress party.” On Friday, Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in a release that the Congress had done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals Limited to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the law of the land. “This support was extended by the Indian National Congress in the form of interest-free loans from which no commercial profit has accrued to INC,” the release said. Click for video. Moneys can be spent only for political purposes. Party cannot give loans. “Whatever money it receives,for which it is getting an IT exemption must only be used for political purposes. I am asking EC to hold a hearing,” said Swamy.
A day earlier, Swamy addressed a press conference in which he alleged that Congress party gave a loan of Rs 90 crores to Associated Journals that published the now defunct National Herald and Quami Awaz, which was in violation of Income Tax and election laws. He had also said that a new company Young Indian was floated to take over the functioning of Associated Journals by Sonia and Rahul to grab a prized building in the capital and renting it out in violation of laws.
Dwivedi said the object of Congress is the well-being and advancement of the people of India and the establishment in India, by peaceful and constitutional means of a social state based on Parliamentary democracy in which there is equality of opportunity and of political, economic and social rights and which aims at world peace and fellowship.
“In furtherance of its object and its political activities, it is a matter of pride for the Indian National Congress that it has supported The Associated Journals Limited, publisher of the National Herald and other newspapers, founded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937, which have played a role in our freedom movement.
“The Indian National Congress has done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the laws of the land,” Dwivedi said.