The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday issued summon to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, along with her son and party leader Rahul Gandhi to appear before it on June 8, in connection with the National Herald case.
This information was shared by Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi and party’s Chief Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, during a press conference.
The leaders termed the summoning of Sonia and Rahul as ‘political vendetta’.
According to Surjewala, the Indian National Congress had paid Rs 90 crore to the Associated Journals Ltd, the company that ran the National Herald newspaper established in 1937, to pay its dues by cheque over a period of about 10 years and in about 100 installments.
Out of this, Rs 67 crore were used by National Herald to pay the dues of its employees and the rest was spent on electricity payment, rent and building, added the Congress leader.
Since the National Herald was not able to repay the debt, shares of Associated Journals Ltd were given to ‘Young India’ in lieu this, explained Surjewala.
The Managing Committee members of Young India include Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and late Motilal Vohra.
According to Congress leader and Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, while stating that there was no money or money laundering involved in the case, questioned why it was being reopened seven years after the probe was shut.
The complaint filed in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate said that Associated Journals Limited (AJL) took an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore from the Indian National Congress, which was not paid back.
Young India, a closely-held company, was incorporated in November, 2010 with a capital of Rs 50 lakh, and acquired almost all the shareholding of AJL and its properties.
Singhvi said AJL was given loan by the Congress, as it was facing financial problems.
He accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to ‘use’ agencies to target political opponents, adding that they were ready to face all charges, without being scared or intimated.