NEW DELHI: To present its side of the story, the Congress has come out with a set of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the National Herald issue and said that the Gandhis have not benefited financially from Young Indian Ltd. The party said there is no restriction in law on political parties giving loans and the Election Commission had issued a clear order in this regard in November, 2012.
On whether Sonia or Rahul Gandhi benefited financially from Young Indian, it said, “No. As directors or shareholders of Young Indian, a non-profit, Section 25 company, they are prohibited by law from drawing (and have not drawn) any financial benefits from the company.” It also denied that any assets were transferred from AJL to YI. It rejected as false the claim that YI was created to usurp the property owned by AJL.
On the allegation by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that YI is a real estate company, it said the statement was absolutely false.
“YI does not own a single real estate asset or immoveable property. AJL continues to own all its assets. The allegation is, therefore, completely baseless,” the FAQ under the tab of National Herald states on the website. The Congress also denied claims that YI now owns the property of AJL.
“No, both Young India and Associated Journals Ltd are separate entities. All assets and properties of AJL continue to remain with AJL. This allegation is akin to falsely alleging that a shareholder in Indian Hotels Ltd. has rights on hotel properties of the Taj Group and owns a particular hotel or can move into it!” the party said.
The party also clarified that Congress gave loans of Rs 90 crore to AJL as the company was facing financial ill- health. No commercial bank was willing to lend a single rupee to AJL due to the negative worth of the company, its meager income and its over-leveraged balance sheet, it said adding that is why Congress Party supported it with a good cause and intention.
Sonia and Rahul had last week moved the Supreme Court seeking the quashing of the criminal case and summons issued to them and five others on several grounds, including that the complaint by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in the National Herald case was a political move aimed at defaming them.