In spite of the strong Congress connections, National Herald always prided itself on its editorial independence.
For instance, in the 1967 elections, remembers Haseeb Siddiqi, former chief reporter of Navjeevan, it had supported an independent candidate, AN Mullah, and not the Congress candidate, BR Mohan of Mohan Meakins, for the Lucknow seat because it "didn't want to throw its weight behind a liquor baron".
Even when Sanjay Gandhi was at the peak of his power, the newspaper made it a policy not to carry his photograph.
Trouble started after Emergency, in 1978, when there was an 18-month lockout.
When the paper reopened, Yashpal Kapoor, an old confidant of Indira, became the managing director of The Associated Journals.
This was the time when the company bought real estate in various cities. Kapoor left after Indira died in 1984.
Another lockout followed.
Rajiv Gandhi was keen to revive the newspaper and brought in Rameshwar Thakur as the managing director.
"He assured us when we met him at Rae Bareli that he wanted to make National Herald the number one newspaper of India," claims Siddiqi.
Image: A young Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi (right) with their mother Indira Gandhi.