Comment Pieces

National Herald acquisition continues to haunt Congress

Posted on April 30, 2014

The Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate Court has summoned officials of the Registrar of Companies (RoC) to testify the records in connection with the controversial acquisition of the National Herald newspaper.

The Court was acting on the petition, filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, accusing Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi of taking over the newspaper publishing company by floating a new private company using the Congress’ funds.

National Herald newspaper publishing company The Associated Journal Ltd, established in 1930s, was taken over by a newly-floated company Young Indian in 2010. The new company was a private firm where Sonia and Rahul had 38 per cent shares each and Congress gave Rs 90 crore to the private company for taking over the public company, which published the National Herald newspaper. Political parties are forbidden from transferring money to companies. When the controversy erupted, the Congress admitted that the incident claiming the payment was done to revive the party’s organ, as it was an “emotionally attached matter”.

Swamy, in his petition before Metropolitan Magistrate Gomti Manocha, argued that using the Congress money Sonia and Rahul had acquired the huge properties and buildings of the newspaper publishing company spread across the country and valued over Rs 5,000 crore.

The publishing company Associated Journal is having huge assets in New Delhi, Lucknow, Panchkula, Indore and Mumbai. The BJP leader also argued that the acquisition of a newspaper publishing company and not resuming the publication of newspaper after the acquisition itself shows that the intentions of Sonia and Rahul were to get the control of the high value real estate properties in several metro cities in the country.

The next hearing of the case is scheduled on May 12. Apart from Sonia and Rahul, Congress leader Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda are the respondents in Swamy’s petition.

Courtesy: The Pioneer