Even as Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy moved Election Commission seeking de-recognition of Congress for giving a loan of Rs. 90 crore to Associated Journal, the Congress described revival of National Herald newspaper as an 'emotional' issue and claimed that it has done nothing wrong.
Congress says it gave a loan to revive Herald
Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said that that the revival of National Herald has helped over 700 employees and it will help to promote the Gandhi-Nehru thought. We have discharged our political dharma because Associated Journals has worked to promote the Gandhi-Nehru thought," he said.
Dwivedi also launched a hard-hitting attack on Swamy and the BJP for carrying out “propaganda of lie" and "distorting" facts.
Swamy had claimed the Congress had given a loan to Young Indian, which has bought stake in Associated Journal. Dwivedi also questioned the Swamy’s claim that Congress will commercially gain from the loan asking how can there be a commercial purpose as alleged when no interest was charged for the loan?"
Another Congress leader said the party will substantially reply to Swamy’s claim in the Election Commission "Let Swamy go wherever he wants to go. We will contest it technically," the leader said.
Swamy in a letter to EC said the Congress has "prima facie" committed an offence under electoral law as well as Income Tax law for which it is necessary to hold hearings and decide on derecognising the party.
The BJP also chipped in with its spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman claiming that the loan has been given more for the real estate value involved and “inadvertent” money laundering.
“A very spirited defence has been put up by Congress for its misadventure. The Congress chief spokesperson has tried to justify it by taking the names of Congress leaders and in the name of ideology. He read out passages from the Congress party constitution as if this will justify it," she said.