The Congress on Friday said it had done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals Limited, publisher of National Herald and other newspapers, in the form of an interest-free loan from which no commercial profit accrued to the party.
"The Indian National Congress (INC) has done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals Limited to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the laws of the land," Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in a statement issued in New Delhi.
"The support was extended in the form of an interest free loan from which no commercial profit has accrued to the INC," said Dwivedi.
National Herald was founded by Jawaharlal Nehru (who became India's first prime minister in 1947) in 1937, and played a role in the freedom struggle, said the Congress.
Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy had on Thursday alleged "wrongdoing" by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi vis-a-vis the takeover of Herald House in Delhi.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley joined Swamy on Friday in asking the Congress to come clear if it had given a loan of Rs.90 crore to the company floated by the Gandhis.
The Congress challenged Swamy to prove his allegations.
Dwivedi said that "in furtherance of its object and its political activities, it is a matter of pride for the INC that it has supported The Associated Journals Limited, publisher of National Herald and other newspapers, founded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937, which has played a role in our freedom struggle."
According to Dwivedi, "the object of INC is well being and advancement of the people of India and establishment in India, by peaceful and constitutional means, of a socialist state based on parliamentary democracy in which there is equality of opportunity and of political, economic and social rights and which aims at world peace and fellowship".