NEW DELHI: The BJP on Thursday targeted Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son, the party’s vice president, Rahul Gandhi of financial impropriety.
The ruling party raked up the issue of the Young India company, in which Sonia and Rahul have a majority stake, saying it had borrowed a sum of Rs 1 crore from a firm which was allegedly involved in money laundering.
The Congress dismissed the allegation saying that the BJP was levelling baseless charges as it sensed imminent defeat in the ongoing Bihar assembly elections.
Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson, Sambit Patra said that Young India was formed in December 2010 with Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each holding 38 per cent shares.
“If somebody has 76 per cent shares of a company then, naturally, they have ownership rights... Other Congress leaders Oscar Fernandes and Motilal Vora hold 24 per cent shares,” Patra claimed.
Patra alleged that in a meeting held at 10 Janpath, on September 23, 2014, a proposal was placed before the board of the firm for a one-year extension in repaying a loan borrowed from a private company called Dotex Merchandise. The BJP spokesperson said when the activities of Dotex Merchandise were looked into by the authorities, the details that emerged were “murky”.
The BJP spokesperson claimed that the owner of the company has told income tax authorities in Kolkata about the activities of his firms that, included converting black money into white.
Patra referred to documents to claim that when the loan was taken by ‘Young India’, the Congress-led UPA was in power and had the machinery to discover antecedents of the firm.
“This Rs 1 crore is just the tip of the iceberg. We ask the Congress, whose black money is this? Does this belong to Coalgate, CWG, 2G or jijaji? (a reference to Robert Vadra) The Congress should explain,” Patra said attacking the Congress leadership.
Reacting to the allegations, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the BJP was sensing an imminent defeat in Bihar due to the “evaporation” of the Modi magic and that was why it was resorting to such allegations.
“The BJP is also making such allegations as the names of some BJP leaders are being talked about in connection with some fictitious companies in the Bank of Baroda scam,” he said.
The Associate Journal (that was acquired by Young India) had taken a loan of Rs 1 crore from an R P Goenka company at an interest rate of 14 per cent, which was later repaid, he said.
Suggesting that there was no case of wrongdoing, Surjewala said that the whole matter was audited by the Income Tax department and Registrar of Companies. If some questions are being raised against the lender, what can Associate Journals do? he asked.
(With Agency inputs)