‘National Herald settled issue, no scam’
JAMMU, June 15: The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee today strongly condemned the continued harassment of Rahul Gandhi by the ED and the police action on the top leadership at the Congress headquarters, 24- Akbar Road, New Delhi and termed it as totally dictatorial, authoritarian and political vendetta of the Modi Govt.
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Terming the events as most unfortunate in the democratic history of the nation, as the headquarters of the oldest premier party in Delhi has been turned into a police cantonment and seized, top leadership injured, detained including sitting Chief Ministers, AICC general secretaries, MPs which is not only illegal but most unjustified.
Addressing a Press conference at party office Jammu today, JKPCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma alongwith senior leadership of JKPCC including working president Raman Bhalla, general secretaries PCC Th Balwan Singh and Yogesh Sawhney, PYC president Uday Chib and others said that it is a case of clear vendetta of Modi Govt against Congress leadership and no illegality has been done by the Congress, rather it has discharged its duty to clear the old liabilities of the National Herald newspaper, including around Rs 67 crores as pending wages of journalists and other employees of the newspaper and rest as dues of the various offices of NH paper including electricity tariff etc.
“Is it crime to pay the pending dues and liabilities, since newspaper was in loss since decades but it was established by Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1938 to fight the battle of freedom against British Raj, when newspapers were not allowed to carry anti-Govt news and Congress activities?” Sharma asked.
“PCC strongly condemns the attitude of the Centre Govt which is dictatorial, authoritarian and suppressive. We also condemn the attack, assault and illegal restrictions on senior Congress leaders and workers at AICC 24- Akbar Road and outside and elsewhere in different states,” they added.
Sharma explained that Congress gave a loan of Rs 90 Crore to the National Herald from 2002 to 2011, to get it out of financial crisis. This loan was paid in around 100 installments not one go. Out of this Rs 67 crores was paid as pending wages of journalists and other liabilities of the newspaper, rest Govt dues of power, water etc.
The National Hearld was not in a position to repay such huge loan, so the entire loan was converted to equity. Since political parties cannot take equity in any company, so Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other senior Congress leaders became trustees in “Young India not for profit Trust “ and 99 % shares were transferred to this trust. Since “Young India Trust” was “not for profit trust” none of those managing its affairs, cannot take any benefit or profit out of it. “Neither they can be owner of any property of National Herald, no one has earned/taken any pecuniary benefit, nor can take any such benefit. Then where is scam/illegality or crime,” they questioned.
Congress shown the entire transactions in its balance sheets and it is duly audited. This entire process is in accordance with settled norms of laws of the land and there is no illegality. Modi Govt wants to harass and malign Congress leadership through ED, they said.
Meanwhile, Cong today held protest demonstration against the harassment to Rahul Gandhi by the ED officials. Led by Raman Bhalla, working president of the PCC the Cong workers and leaders raised slogans against the Modi Govt, alleging political vendetta against top Congress leadership.