Monthly Archives: November 2012

Puzzling Responses to My RTI Query Regarding Rahul Gandhi’s Foreign Trips by Madhu Purnima Kishwar

I am really puzzled by some of the responses to my RTI regarding Rahul Gandhi’s foreign trips. One set of persons have echoed the arguments used by Congress spokespersons Manish Tiwari and Jayanti Natarajan questioning my motives for demanding information that “violates the privacy of Rahul Gandhi.” A related argument is that parting with such information will jeopardize Rahul Gandhi’s security.

Both arguments sound absurd to me. As far as violating his privacy is concerned:

  • Rahul Gandhi is not a private citizen. He is an elected Member of Parliament answerable to citizens. Unlike ministers, MPs may not require prior government permission to go abroad. But I am told the established protocol is that MPs have to inform the Speaker when going abroad, especially if the House is in session. I intend to file an RTI with the Speaker of Lok Sabha to find if MPs in general and Rahul Gandhi in particular, are observing this protocol.
  • I have merely asked whether these were official trips or not. If some or all of these were official trips then citizens have a right to know about them.
  • Gandhi is neither a secret service agent, nor a RAW or Intelligence Bureau official. Therefore, his foreign trips could not possibly be James bond style secret missions.
  • Rahul Gandhi is a prime ministerial aspirant and the most influential person in the Congress Party after his mother Sonia Gandhi. He is known to influence government policy. Therefore, citizens have a right to put his public dealings to scrutiny.
  • If some or all of these trips were private, merely disclosing which country he went to does not by any stretch of imagination infringe his privacy, unless he was doing something hanky-panky while abroad. Congress Party should avoid giving that impression by being so paranoid about his trips abroad.
  • I have not sought to know who he spends his leisure hours or holidays with. I have merely asked whether he went on official business and what was the nature of the official business, if any.

The argument that it may jeopardize Rahul’s security is absurd for the following reasons:

  • I have asked about his past trips, not those he plans to undertake in the future. He cannot be harmed by those he fears with retrospective effect.
  • Information about prime ministerial, presidential trips is public knowledge unless they undertake some secret mission for the country. If their security is not compromised, how come information about Rahul Gandhi’s trips needs to be protected more diligently than information regarding the trips undertaken by the Prime Minister of India or the President of the United States of America?

The second set of responses has come from those who agree with my questions. But I find it strange that many of them have congratulated me for my “brave” act. Some have even expressed concern for my safety as though I have done something politically dangerous. This has surprised me more than the first set of hostile responses. I fail to understand, what is so brave about asking for such simple information? After all, I am not chasing information about some mafia don!

I wish Congressmen and women who have declared war on citizens demanding simple information about the affairs of their Party President and her family would realize they are doing more harm than good. A party which prides itself on ushering in the Right to Information Act ought not to be so paranoid about the doings of its First Family.

Or would they rather bring in a constitutional amendment saying the First family of the Congress Party is exempt from all laws of the land!

This would be in tune with the act of listing ONE and ONLY person—namely Robert Vadra by name–as someone exempt from security check at airports while all others, such as the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Chief Justice of India etc. are exempt only on account of the high constitutional office they hold, not because they belong to some higher species.

Is Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty above state? — Sandhya Jain


By Sandhya Jain on November 16, 2012

A grandson of former Defence Minister Kailash Nath Katju, one of the founder-members of The Associated Journals Ltd which floated the National Herald, Navjivan and Qaumi Awaz during the freedom struggle, has written an article berating the controversy over transfer of the company to a closely held firm and diverting attention to the Congress’s lapse from the ‘true ideology’ of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. In the process, he has unfairly attacked the Prime Minister’s economic policies, ignoring the fact that Manmohan Singh is an appointee of the party president whose questionable actions are being glossed over.

He avers that many eminent Congress leaders set up the company in 1937 to support the freedom movement and desired no personal financial advantage from it. This is undeniably true for the era in which the project was launched.

What is questionable is his claim that the present Congress leadership did not restructure Associated Journals and gift control to Young Indian for personal profit. He admits the restructuring exercise should have been done transparently to avoid suspicion of wrong-doing. He laments that Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy will go to court over the Rs 90 crore AICC loan to Associated Journals for non-political activity, and Congress may have problems defending the action.

The National Herald issue has multiple dimensions. The principal questions revolve around the law under which Associated Journals was set up, who or which entities currently comprise its legal ownership, whether these entities concurred in the transfer of ownership to a tightly-controlled private firm, whether assets raised from public contributions during the freedom struggle can become the personal property of some individuals, whether a newspaper or newspapers can be sold to a company not engaged in newspaper business, and whether land acquired at concessional rates from the state for a specific purpose can change hands without permission of the state.

Only after these questions are answered by a duly instituted official inquiry can the Congress be permitted to revive the National Herald, if it truly intends to do so. For the now-defunct National Herald and allied journals have no legally ascertainable link with the Congress, which link will have to be established before the party exercises rights over the title of the newspaper and journals, their properties and assets, and re-launches any or all of them. These are legal matters which cannot be glossed over by resort to emotional obfuscation.

The National Herald is not in the league of party-owned publications like Congress Sandesh. The Associated Journals was set up in 1937 under the Indian Companies Act, 1913. The Memorandum of Association announced its objective, “To establish and to carry on… the business of news agency, newspaper and magazine proprietors, printers and publishers and all similar and incidental trades thereof …” [3 (a)]. The founder members were Jawaharlal Nehru, Purushottamdas Tandon, J Narendra Deva, Kailash Nath Katju, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai, Mohan Lal Sakra and Krishna Dutta Paliwal; the document was witnessed by Govind Ballabh Pant.

The company launched the National Herald, Navjivan and Qaumi Awaz. None was a success; though kept afloat by Congress and its dominant family for many decades after independence, they eventually closed down.

The closure of these papers raised the question of what was to be done with the enormous properties acquired from Central and State Governments at concessional rates over the years – in Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Indore, Haryana, Lucknow and other places in Uttar Pradesh – the rough value of which is said to exceed Rs 5,000 crore. Massive edifices were erected on some of the properties through public donations for publication of the newspapers. Subramanian Swamy has alleged that un-built land in Mumbai, Indore, Bhopal, Punchkula, Lucknow has been illegally sold to builders of luxury skyscrapers, malls, and housing for Congress Ministers, in violation of land allotment orders.

Since Congress as a political party was never legally the owner and promoter of Associated Journals, the legal ownership has to be settled by appropriate authorities as over 80 per cent of the shareholders listed with the Registrar of Companies are dead and many firms defunct.

The question arises if shares of defunct firms or individuals whose heirs did not come forward to claim mutation in their names can be deemed to lapse into Associated Journals itself, and shared equally with surviving members. Could Associated Journals legally sell / assign shares to new members who were brought in from time to time, most notably from the Nehru-Gandhi family that dominated the party and national polity in most of post-independent India?

An official inquiry should take particular note of Rattan Deep Trust and Janhit Nidhi that seem to have played a critical role in introducing Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra into Associated Journals as authorised attorney, and then facilitating transfer of shares and assets to Young Indian. As is well known, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are majority (76 per cent) shareholders in Young Indian.

The Election Commission, which rejected Swamy’s plea to de-recognise the Congress for giving a loan to a private firm (a non-political activity), failed to take cognisance of his claim that the Amethi MP did not disclose his Associated Journals shareholding of 2008 in the affidavit for the Lok Sabha election in 2009. This is an issue that deserves clarification.

Swamy has pointed to violations of the Companies Act, Income Tax Act and Representation of the People Act. Before the Congress claims ‘emotional attachment’ to the defunct journals once associated with Jawaharlal Nehru, it should settle all legal issues raised by the controversy.

The last gasp of National Herald

Subramanian Swamy 

To begin with, and briefly: In 2011, Ms. Sonia Gandhi and her son, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, both MPs and hence public servants under the Prevention of Corruption Act, had floated, under Section 25 of the Companies Act, a company called Young Indian Private Ltd.

The Ma-Beta corrupt duo hold 76 per cent of the total equity (38 per cent shares each) in the company, while Congress party treasurer Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandez held the remaining 24 Congress party Treasurer. If any person or group holds more than 74 per cent of a company’s equity, the company can be virtually administered without caring for other shareholders. Thus, Young Indian is a Gandhi-Maino private enterprise that is directly administered by the duo.

Now, we come to the brazen corrupt plot of the duo to acquire another well-endowed entity in terms of assets. The Associated Journals Private Ltd. (AJPL) is that another company. AJPL—the owner-publisher of National Herald, Navjivan, and Quami Awaz newspapers—was set up by prominent Congress leaders in 1938. Jawaharlal Nehru became president of the company.

Because its object was to publish a newspaper, APJL acquired , at concessional rates, from Central and state governments high-value real estate properties in Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Indore, Haryana, and several places in Uttar Pradesh, and some places like on the prime land in Delhi and Lucknow, built massive offices on public donations for the publication of its newspapers.

But, like all Nehru-Gandhi-Maino proclaimed public “enterprises,” AJPL’s main mission of publishing newspapers soon ended in failure. By the 1970s, all three newspapers were running in terrible losses; they failed to pay employees’ wages. Labor agitation forced the owners to close the operations in a lock-out. The shareholders’ list by then had got depleted by death, alienation, or sale, and thus AJPL came fully into the grip of the Nehru dynasty, with family retainer Motilal Vora as chowkidar-president,

By 2008 or a little earlier, Rahul Gandhi was inducted as a shareholder in AJPL. But he failed to disclose this in his sworn affidavit filed as a candidate for Lok Sabha in 2009.

In his sworn assets statement, he declared as ‘Nil’ his shares in companies, when in fact he at least owned three lakh shares in AJPL, and controlling shares in Back-Ops company that he set up during the NDA regime. The Back-Ops ownership was later handed over to sister Priyanka by a backdated letter in 2009, who then promptly wound up the company in 2011—maintaining the family tradition of failed enterprises. The assets acquired following Back-Ops liquidation went into Priyanka’s folder.

In 2010, “Operation AJPL acquisition” began by Young Indian and executed in four steps:

(i) Step 1: Moribund AJPL obtains an unsecured zero interest loan of Rs 90 plus crore from the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in 2011 with no stated purpose (but now the spin given by Congress spokesman Janardan Dwivedi is that the loan was for the emotional attachment of Congress party for National Herald). Section 13A of the Income Tax Act, read with Section 29 A to C of the Representation of the People Act, prohibits any political party from giving loans to commercial or related enterprises.

Note: Motilal Vora is president of AJPL, which received the loan; he is Treasurer of AICC which gave the loan; and he is also a shareholder and Director in Young Indian, the prospective buyer of AJPL!

(ii) Step 2: Young Indian enters the picture with a proposal made by Young Indian Director Motilal Vora to AJPL president Motilal Vora that he would speak to AICC treasurer Motilal Vora to unburden AJPL of the loans due to AICC by a financial derivative of transfer of liability to Young Indian. Note! It helps that Sonia Gandhi is AICC president and Rahul Gandhi is AICC senior-most general secretary.

(iii) Step 3: AJPL, acting on a mere Board Resolution dated February 20, 2012, and not by a Shareholders Meeting, sells by transfer of shares to Young Indian for a mere Rs 50 lakh.

Who cares that Young Indian is not a media company which cannot buy a media company that has got land allotted by government and obtained bank loans on the condition that it is a media company producing newspapers?

Before buying AJPL, Rahul Gandhi transfers 262,411 of his three lakh shares in AJPL to sister Priyanka. Robert Vadra is left out of the deal, because Aruna Roy will see to it that Kejriwal will cut him down to size, with Ahmed Patel ensuring 24×7 media publicity to scare the wits out of Mr. Vadra.

(v) Step 4: The seven-storey Herald House is now securely with Young Indian. The Ma-beta duo illegally opens Herald House, which is in the prime area of New Delhi, for renting. A Passport Seva Kendra rents a large space of two floors, and Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna inaugurates the office. Huge, six months’ rent is collected by Young Indian from multinational companies which are soon to start offices in Herald House. The acquisition process is now complete.

Thus the deal was to grab the Rs 1,600-crore worth Herald House and other properties of National Herald and Quami Awaz in Delhi, and another Rs 3,400 crore in different parts of UP, Maharasthra, and MP for which Young Indian made a commitment to pay a mere Rs 50 lakh to AICC for owning the Rs 90 crore obtained from AICC as an unsecured, zero-interest loan and now written off by the AICC.

Now what illegalities have been committed?

1. The deal is a sham, bogus, and a violation of several laws including Companies, the Income-Tax Act, Indian Penal Code Sections 405-08, 420, 467, and 193, Election Law, and Government Residence Allotment Rules.

2. The un-built on land in Mumbai, Indore, Bhopal, Punchkula, Lucknow etc., etc., has been illegally sold to builders of luxury skyscrapers, malls, and housing for Congress Ministers. This is a violation of the land allotment orders and a criminal breach of trust.

3. Young Indian filed statements with the RoC in March 2012, disclosing that the shareholders meetings were held in Sonia Gandhi’s government-allotted 10, Janpath. This is in violation of the law, since 10, Janpath, New Delhi, is government-provided accommodation which cannot be used for commercial purposes and business.

4. More than 80 per cent of the persons mentioned in the 2011 shareholders’ list filed with the RoC are deceased, such prominent persons such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sharda Prasad, and GD Birla, as also some defunct Kolkata-based companies. Hence the Board Meeting of AJPL handing over the company to Young Indian is a violation of the Companies Act and is an offence as well as a fraud on the public.

I urge, therefore, an immediate probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office and CBI into this dubious, stinking deal between Young India and The Associated Journals, and from the Election Commission for the illegality of the AICC I giving a loan to a private company.

Mr. Rahul Gandhi also committed perjury when he told a lie in his 2009 nomination paper for Lok Sabha that he owned ‘NIL’ shares when he owned in fact over three lakh shares of AJPL in 2009.

The bottom line is that National Herald—for which his great grandfather Nehru pompously said, “I will sell Anand Bhavan but never National Herald” —has been strangulated to death by Rahul Gandhi and his mother. Young Indian objectives do not include bring out a newspaper. Rahul Gandhi himself told the PTI on October 9, 2012, after swallowing AJPL, “We have no intention to start or revive a newspaper.”

The last gasp of National Herald, Navjivan, and Quami Awaz has been heard. For just Rs 50 lakh, Rs 5,000-crore of property has been obtained.

Ironically, Herald House is built on a kabaristan on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. The Mama-son duo knows the Biblical saying—from dust to dust!

Posted on : 11-15-2012

Robert Vadra and Priyanka going for a Divorce?

Robert Wadhra and Priyanka divorce Robert Vadra and Priyanka going for a Divorce?Indian social activist, Kejeriwal  allegations against Sonia Gandhi son-in-law Robert Vadra has lead to split in the Gandhi family.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the daughter of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Ms. Sonia Gandhi was married to Robet Vadhra.

Robert Vadra family hails from Pakistan came to India and settled in early 80s’ . He met Priyanka Gandhi when she was 13 and later married her in 1997. He started his business in jewellery and handicraft exports , masterpieces supplied by Hyderabad-based Karni Jewellers (yesterday its new showroom was opened by Amala). Later he became a business tycoon within a short span like Jagan Mohan Reddy, using his in laws political influence.

Even after several warning from Sonia Gandhi & Priyanka ,He never cared them and continued his business deals with political leaders of several parties. Thus, rift in the family began to widen and at one point of time Priyanka had came before media to say that there are no differences.

But, with recent Kejeriwal serious allegations  Priyanka left with no choice ,she left Vadra place and staying with her mother in 10 janpath for last few days. Its heard that Priyanka is planning to file a divorce soon to keep her family reputation .

Political chicanery – A. Surya Prakash. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi of Young Indian as joint grabbers of prime properties

The properties grabbed are not restricted to Herald House on the Fleet Street of Delhi, but extend to places like Indore, Bhopal and Mumbai.

See Dr. Swamy’s statement calling for FIR on cognizable offences and custodial interrogation of Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi



I have communicated to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Shivraj Chauhan that, based on the CNN IBN investigation being broadcast, he must set up a SIT inquiry into the real estate fraud in the Associated Journals Pvt Ltd which is a wholly owned company of Young Indian Pvt Ltd, which company in turn is controlled by Ms. Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Rahul Gandhi, both public servants as defined by the Prevention of Corruption Act.

SIT investigation is necessary since the offences committed by the AJPL, the culpability for which devolves now on Young Indian Pvt Ltd and therefore the Gandhi mother-son duo, are fully liable for multiple offences which range from criminal breach of trust under IPC, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, to Companies Act.

For SIT a FIR has to be filed for these cognizable offences, and it will be necessary for Ms. Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi to be subject to custodial interrogation.

Herald land scam: Subramanian Swamy seeks SIT probe | Nov 12, 2012, 00:11AM IST
Published on Nov 10, 2012 by ibnlive
After Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai, another Herald land row has come to light. This time in Bhopal where a shopping mall was built on the land sold to the newspaper at a concessional rate. The BJP-led state government is now planning to take back the plot. Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy’s allegation on Congress President Sonia Gandhi and General Secretary Rahul Gandhi over Associated Journals limited that once published the National Herald and Quomi Awaaz newspapers has provided a fresh opportunity to the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh to score some political points.

The government is now saying it would soon acquire properties that have been constructed on the land that was allotted to Associated Journals limited in 1981 by the than Congress government led by Arjun Singh. The land allocation, however, has already been cancelled in March this year. The Congress party is washing its hands from the deal saying the land was sold to a former minister once the papers shut down.

New Delhi/Bhopal: Janata Party supremo Subramanian Swamy has attacked the ruling Congress at the Centre by demanding an SIT inquiry into the Herald land scam in Bhopal.

As per reports, the plot of land that was sold at a concessional rate to the newspaper was used to build a shopping mall, Zee News reported.

CNN-IBN stated that the BJP-led government in Madhya Pradesh (MP) is planning to take the plot back.

Swamy had earlier heaped charges of corruption against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi over Associated Journals that once published National Herald and Qaumi Awaaz newspapers.

In the wake of Swamy’s charges, the MP government too has reportedly been planning to take back the properties built on the land allotted in 1981 to Associated Journals by the then Arjun Singh-led Congress government.
Now, Herald land row comes to light in Bhopal too POLITICS NEWS, Updated Nov 11, 2012 at 11:04am IST

Bhopal: After Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai, another Herald land row has come to light. This time in Bhopal where a shopping mall was built on the land sold to the newspaper at a concessional rate. The BJP-led state government is now planning to take back the plot. Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy’s allegation on Congress President Sonia Gandhi and General Secretary Rahul Gandhi over Associated Journals limited that once published the National Herald and Quomi Awaaz newspapers has provided a fresh opportunity to the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh to score some political points.
The government is now saying it would soon acquire properties that have been constructed on the land that was allotted to Associated Journals limited in 1981 by the than Congress government led by Arjun Singh. The land allocation, however, has already been cancelled in March this year. The Congress party is washing its hands from the deal saying the land was sold to a former minister once the papers shut down.

The building in Bhopal’s industrial district built on the 56000 square feet was allotted to Associated Journals limited by the Congress government in 1981. In March 2012, a year after the land lease expired, the Bhopal Development Authority cancelled the land allocation. But the property has continued to stay in the possession of the heirs of former Congress minister Tanvant Singh Keer.

Housing and Environment Minister, Madhya Pradesh, Jayant Malaiya said, “The property could not be sold or rented out. The terms and conditions have been violated. The interests of the state would be protected.”

The opposition Congress party has tried to avoid controversy by stating that the land had already been sold. Congress treasurer Motilal Vohra wrote a letter to the Bhopal Development Authority in November 2011 that says all conditions of the lease deed are being followed.

Spokesman state Congress Manak Aggarwal said, “The land was sold to the than minister Tanvant Singh Keer. Once the paper stopped publishing the than Bureau Chief came with a proposal and the trust decided to sell it off.”

The ruling BJP by expressing its desire to acquire the property constructed on the land allotted to Associated Journals limited is also trying to tame other organisations who are making commercial use of the land allotted for newspapers. The Supreme Court of India has already directed to impose a penalty on such violations but the state government has not moved beyond serving notices.

November 13, 2012 (Page 8)

This heralds a new low in political chicanery

A Surya Prakash

The Congress cannot be allowed to get away by glib talk to justify the brazen diversion of party funds to help the Nehru-Gandhi family acquire a stake in a piece of prime real estate in Delhi

At a time when there has been a phenomenal increase in the funds pouring into the coffers of political parties, the allegations made by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy regarding the misuse of funds by the Congress’s first family to usurp the Rs 1,600 crore Herald House on Delhi’s ‘Fleet Street’, raises the broader issue of defining permissible parameters for the deployment of party funds.

According to Mr Swamy, a tireless crusader, Congress advanced an interest-free loan of Rs 90 crore to The Associated Journals Ltd that owned the now defunct National Herald. This loan was meant to take over the liabilities of TAJL. Later, another company called Young Indian was launched, in which Ms Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi together hold 76 per cent of the shares. This company subscribed to a fresh issue of shares of TAJL by paying a meagre Rs 50 lakh, but this was enough to gain control. Through this manoeuvre, the mother-son duo have acquired control of Herald House on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Delhi’s ‘Fleet Street’. The wily manner in which this property has been appropriated would put Punjabi Bagh real estate agents to shame!

These transactions also go to prove that the Nehru-Gandhis have proprietorial control over the Congress. That is why, the party ‘loans’ Rs 90 crore to TAJL and thereafter a company owned largely by 10 Janpath — Young Indian — acquires control of TAJL. All these manoeuvres should come as no surprise to those who have closely followed the methods deployed by the family to gain control of large tracts of real estate all over Lutyens’ Delhi.

But, Mr Swamy’s accusations raise the larger question of where and how political parties should be allowed to spend their money. Can they enter into business activities or enable companies owned by their office-bearers to acquire properties or businesses? These questions merit urgent consideration for the simple reason that, in the last decade there has been a staggering growth in the income of political parties.

Thanks to the sustained efforts of the Association of Democratic Rights, we now have authentic information on the kind of funds available with political parties in the country. The organisation took the RTI route to ferret out information. Following an application by the ADR, the Central Information Commission directed the Income Tax authorities to furnish details of the income tax returns filed by recognised national and State political parties since 2004-05. Thereafter, National Election Watch and the ADR collated and analysed the data and put their findings in the public domain.

The ADR’s analysis showed that the top five political parties with the highest total income over this seven year period are: the Indian National Congress (Rs 2,008 crore), the Bharatiya Janata Party (Rs 994 crore), the BSP (Rs 484 crore), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (Rs 417 crore) and the Samajwadi Party (Rs 279 crore). It found that a major source of income for most political parties was ‘donations and voluntary contributions’.

However, interestingly, donations from named contributors (persons who donate more than Rs 20,000) and whose contributions have to be mandatorily declared “form a very small percentage of total income of political parties”. The analysis of the data for the last two of these seven fiscal years by ADR has showed that BJP’s donations from named donors amount to 22.76 per cent of its total income, whereas it was just 11.89 per cent for the Congress.

The BSP, strangely had not received any donation above Rs 20,000 although its total income for the two years was Rs 172.67 crore. The Nationalist Congress Party, on the other hand, got 4.64 per cent of its income from named donors. There was also much variance in the nature of incomes of the two Communist parties — CPM got just 1.29 per cent, whereas the Communist Party of India showed 57.02 per cent of its income from donations above Rs 20,000.

As per this data, the total income of six national parties over seven financial years since 2004-05 is around Rs 4,000 crore. The Congress had an income of Rs 222 crore in 2004-05, the year the United Progressive Alliance headed by that party, came to power. The party’s income jumped to Rs 467 crore in 2009-10, the year this coalition obtained a fresh mandate. In 2010-11, the income was Rs 307 crore. The Congress’s total income since 2004-05 is Rs 2,008 crore, making it the most affluent political party in the country.

The Congress has not denied Mr Swamy’s accusations. Initially, it thought it could get away by showering insults on him. But this did not work because, on the face of it, the National Herald operation looked like a ploy to usurp a valuable piece of real estate. Wiser counsel prevailed sometime later and the party spokesman claimed that it was “a matter of pride” for the party to have given such a loan to the company that published National Herald. The party also claimed that it was supporting the company “to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health”. But, this claim of the spokesperson flies in the face of the statement from Mr Gandhi’s office that Young Indian, the new company owned by him and his mother, “has no intention of starting a newspaper”.

The party’s explanations will not wash, because at the end of the day, a Rs 1,600 crore asset of a defunct newspaper company has been acquired for a pittance by a company which is almost wholly owned by the Gandhis. These dubious transactions raise a host of questions. Prominent among them are whether a political party can engage in commercial activity or deploy funds to promote the business activities of its office-bearers?

Look beyond the Congress and you will see the magnitude of the problem. What if the other political parties which run like proprietorship companies — the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party — emulate the Congress? If parties are allowed to indulge in such practices, what will become of our democratic system? Can political parties be entitled to tax exemptions if they go commercial? Will not our political parties begin to double up as some kind of tax-exempt commercial institutions in which illegal funds are parked? Since political parties are entitled to tax exemptions under the Income Tax Act, it is not too much to demand that these funds be used only for political purposes. Who will ensure this?

Support to National Herald Interest Free: Cong

NEW DELHI | NOV 02, 2012

Breaking its silence, the Congress tonight rejected allegations levelled by Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy and maintained that its support to National Herald newspaper was interest free loans yielding no commercial profit to the party.

After the party spokesman and other top leaders during the day refused to go into Swamy’s allegations, the party came out with its position in a late night press release.

Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in the release that the Congress 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 law of the land.

“This support was extended by the Indian National Congress in the form of interest-free loans from which no commercial profit has accrued to INC,” the release said.

Yesterday Swamy addressed a press conference in which he alleged that Congress party gave a loan of Rs 90 crores to Associated Journals that published the now defunct National Herald and Quami Awaz, which was in violation of Income Tax and election laws.

He had also said that a new company Young Indian was floated to take over the functioning of Associated Journals by Sonia and Rahul to grab a prized building in the capital and renting it out in violation of laws.

Dwivedi said the object of Congress is the well-being and advancement of the people of India and the establishment in India, by peaceful and constitutional means of a social 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.

“In furtherance of its object and its political activities, it is a matter of pride for the Indian National Congress that it has supported The Associated Journals Limited, publisher of the National Herald and other newspapers, founded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937, which have played a role in our freedom movement.

“The Indian National Congress has done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the laws of the land,” Dwivedi said.

NOV 02, 2012
09:47 PM
“The Indian National Congress has done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the laws of the land” >>>>

RIGHT – AND THEN “Gifted” it to Madam Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi, the Congress treasurer and a few Sonia hard core loyalists’ “private” company?

NOV 02, 2012
11:37 PM
“Dwivedi said the object of Congress is the well-being and advancement of the people of India and the establishment in India, by peaceful and constitutional means of a social 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.”

Bullshit overload.

NOV 03, 2012
07:39 AM
Cant but look at Swamy with sense of Pride,having met him way back in 1977 before the Elections.

He has made Congress suck up ,Be it 2G or now the 90 c loan to Lady and Son.

The man has been unused by India.Even when asked why he hasnt gone after Gadkari he said that Congress has all the Investigation agencies to probe Gadkari why should he do it.

Can he refom the Judicial System in India

NOV 03, 2012
11:12 AM
There are quite a lot of loose threads in this case due to the loose irresponsible talk of members of bandwagon.You will see that they meticulously avoid mentioning the chronological order of events only to confuse the public.A dubious named not-for-profit company was formed with 76 % shareholding by gandhi family and the balance by motilal vohra , the treasurer of congress party and 90 crore is advanced later to National Herald which has become subsidiary of Young Indian.Certainly it is a conspiracy by the trio to hijack the money of congress party to hijack the property of National Herald.sequentially analysing the events, evidently this 90 crores goes to the enjoyment of Young indian through subsidiary National Herald. No newspaper copy is sold free of cost and hence it has commercial value. The meeting of the company is held in the Official residence of Sonia gandhi reducing to the level of a board room.All these go to prove the veracity of the charges levelled by Swamy but we see fellows like PC Chako, Manish tewari, Dwivedy etc., shout out with dutch courage supporting a failing case. People have become thoughtful, analytical to draw conclusions and the old tactics of these guys to dust the eyes of the aam aadmi in banana republic of india will not work. It will also be necessary to look at whether any fund was diverted out of this 90 crore to the property purchse by Vadragandhiji.It isalso necessry on the part of Outlook India to sequence out the birth of Young Indian, Its MOU and AA in detail, the GM of National Herald to waive off to Young indian with date and the signature of approving signatories, date of issue of the 90 crore cheque and the name of the receiving party, date of its encashment, the date of let out of premises of National Herald to MEA for its pass port office with the monthly rent and service charges and the name of the property owner receiving the rent, items on which money spent out so far for the not-for-profit purposes etc., in order for the readers to know more about the stink this has generated. Will the editor put some investigative journalist on the job? Thanks for the excellent presentations


National Herald affair: It’s fraud all the way

By S Gurumurthy

08th November 2012 07:42 AM

The bare facts exposed by Dr Subramanian Swamy on the National Herald affair this month are eloquent, needing very little prose. The fraud is explicit without exposition. Here are the basic facts. Financial crisis forced Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the publishers of National Herald newspaper founded by Pandit Nehru, to close down the paper in 2008. To pay off the employees to help the closure, the Congress Party had given interest-free loan of Rs 90 crore plus to AJL, then. With the newspaper shut, AJL had become a mere real estate company in 2008, with property in Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai worth over Rs 2,000 crore in its balance sheet. Against this, AJL owed just Rs 90-crore plus to the Congress. It had very little liability, besides. The balance real estate of AJL, left after paying off the dues to Congress, legally and morally belonged to AJL’s thousand plus shareholders. Big and small, they had contributed Rs 89 lakh to AJL’s capital, when the Rupee was hundred times more valuable. If AJL’s real estate had been sold and cash distributed to the shareholders,     Brahm Dev Narain, a teacher holding just 41 equity shares in AJL, would have got some Rs 84,000. Hundreds of others would have got similar sums.

But, by deep design and defying both law and morals, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi appropriated — actually misappropriated — control of AJL’s Rs 2,000-cr real estate without paying a dime to AJL’s shareholders. In just three months, between November 2010 and February 2011 and in three moves, control of thousands of crore worth property passed onto the Gandhi family. Here unfolds the sordid story.

As the first step, in November 2010, a trust company named “Young Indian” was mysteriously formed with a capital of just Rs 5 lakh, in which Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi owned 38 per cent each (total 76 per cent) and two family retainers, Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes, owned the balance 24 per cent, making it cent percent Gandhi family outfit. Second, the very next month, December 2010, the Gandhis got the Congress party to assign the Rs 90-cr plus loan given to AJL in 2008 to Young Indian (read themselves) by paying to the party just Rs 50 lakh. The Congress wrote off the balance Rs 89.75 cr as irrecoverable. This creative — actually criminal — accounting substituted Young Indian for the Congress, entitling Young Indian to recover Rs 90-cr plus due from AJL. Finally, in February 2011, AJL converted the Rs 90-cr plus due to Young Indian into equity shares and allotted them. By this step, Young Indian became almost 99 per cent owner of AJL, and as much of the real estate of AJL. When AJL had assets worth Rs 2,000 cr, why should the Congress write off Rs 89.75 cr due from it as bad debt? Would the Congress have done it for any person outside the Gandhi family? And did the Congress Working Committee or AICC know of, or consent to, donate Rs 89.75 cr to the Gandhis through Young Indian? More. In the founding documents of Young Indian the one word that is totally absent is “Congress”! The design is self-evident. The Congress should be out completely and the Gandhi family should exclusively grab control of the AJL’s lands at Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai worth thousands of crores for pittance. And it did happen.

The rest of Young Indian’s story stinks even more. With the Gandhi family and loyalists holding its entire capital, the directors of Young Indian — besides Sonia and Rahul, are Vora, Oscar, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda — are time-tested friends of the family. But, what is the object of Young Indian? Young Indian says its first annual report (April 27, 2012), “is engaged in activities to inculcate in the minds of India’s youth commitment to the ideals of democratic and secular society”.

See what is the first act of this idealist company, after its birth in November 2010, to “inculcate” such ideals in youth. Its annual report shows that the company forthwith started its “operations in December 2010”, and as its first act in pursuance of “its objects”, it acquired the “loan owed” by AJL “for a consideration of Rs 50 lakh”, by which it became AJL’s 99 per cent owner. So the first act of Young Indian to promote idealism in Indian youth was to defraud the Congress party of Rs 89.75 crore on the one hand and the shareholders of AJL of thousands of crores of money on the other. See how the plot thickens.

Young Indians’ annual report discloses a further design — to alter the character of AJL itself. It says that AJL is recasting “its activities” to align its objects, Young Indian’s “main objects”. Finally to merge AJL into Young Indian? And “as part of the restructuring exercise of” AJL, says the annual report, the “loan was converted into equity”. A joke indeed! Young Indian speaks as if it is helping to restructure AJL. Young Indian is a pauper. Its director’s report shows that, from its inception in November 2010 to March 2012, its total income was — believe it — just Rs 800! Its total expenditure was Rs 69.79 lakh and its loss, after deducting its income (Rs 800) was Rs 69.78 lakh. Does the AJL, with huge real estate, need an asset-less and income-less pauper Young Indian for its restructure?

See the deepening design. Young Indian’s annual report intentionally conceals the crucial fact that the loan of Rs 90-cr plus owed by AJL to it was originally due to the Congress party — the intention being that Young Indian looted the Congress should be concealed. The report also suppresses the fact that AJL with asset base of a couple of thousands of crores had become (almost) its wholly-owned subsidiary. It says, in fine print, that shareholders — who? Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Oscar, Dubey and Pitroda! — will get information regarding the subsidiary on request.

This is a fraud on company law, which mandates that the details of the subsidiary be available to the public. More. Young Indian also totally suppresses its 99 per cent holding in the AJL saying that the shareholding “is treated as application on the object of the company” and so “the same has not been reflected as an investment in shares”. This deceptive accounting jargon means that the payment of `50 lakh for 99 per cent of shares of the AJL worth thousands of crores is shown not as an asset, but as expenditure! Why? Obvious.

To keep the investment out of the balance sheet of Young Indian! The annual report blatantly lies that since the net worth of AJL is negative, its investment in 99 per cent capital of AJL is written off as expenditure.

The balance sheet of AJL as on March 31, 2011, shows a positive net worth Rs 8 crore; of which Young Indian’s 99 per cent share is Rs 7.92 cr. So the negative net worth story is a fabrication. The real net worth of Young Indian is, of course, over Rs 2,000 cr.

And the final lie. After Dr Swamy’s expose, the Congress, with tears in its eyes, told the nation on November 3, 2012, that revival of National Herald, a symbol of Gandhi-Nehru ideals, was an “emotional issue” for the party, as if it has paid Rs 90 cr plus now for Herald’s revival. It had paid the amount in 2008 to help close, not revive, the Herald. Just three weeks before the Congress shed tears to revive National Herald, on October 11, 2012, ‘The Pioneer’ newspaper reported that Rahul Gandhi was emphatic that Young Indian had no intention of relaunching any newspaper. By an email to ‘The Pioneer’, Rahul Gandhi’s office said: “Young Indian is a not-for-profit company and does not have commercial operations…. The company has no intention of starting any newspaper”. Any more evidence needed to prove that the sobbing story of Herald’s revival is fake? A post facto lie?

So. The Gandhi family usurping the AJL’s Rs 2,000 cr real estate, with the funds of the Congress and through Young Indian, is fraud all the way. On the Congress. On the shareholders of AJL. And on the National Herald.

Pandit Nehru said: “I will not let the National Herald close down even if I have to sell (my own house) Anand Bhawan”. And now? The Gandhis have buried the National Herald and looted its real estate.

S. Gurumurthy is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues.


Sonia, Rahul booed by locals in their Lok Sabha constituencies

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Congress presidentSonia Gandhi faced local people’€™s ire during her two-day visit to her parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli on Thursday. In fact, it was not just the Congress chief, but her son and party general secretaryRahul Gandhi too had to face a similar situation in his constituency Amethi.

The Gandhis were visiting their pocket borough months after conceding their stronghold to the Samajwadi Party in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections earlier this year.

Sonia and Rahul got a first hand experience of resentment in their respective constituencies as they were booed during their trips. The Gandhis were there to take stock of development work in these towns.

Sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was accompanying Rahul to Fursatganj in family where they met some families who allege that they were harassed by the police and fake cases were registered against them.

The Gandhi family has been under attack over some serious corruption charges against its members, including Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra who has been accused of making millions through shady property deals with real estate giant DLF.

Most recently, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy accused Sonia and Rahul of financial impropriety, involving the party’s now defunct daily National Herald. They have been alleged to have acquired a public limited company having valuable property in UP and Delhi.