Congress rejects Swamy's allegations, says 'loan to defunct newspaper trust was interest-free'

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 03, 2012 11:50 hrs

Congress General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi on Saturday rejected Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy's allegations, and said that the loan to defunct newspaper outfit was interest-free and it yielded no commercial profit to the party.

Dwivedi said it was a duty of the party to help the newspaper as it propagated the ideals of Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi.

"A question was asked why did we give loan for commercial purpose? When we have not charged interest then how could it be for commercial purpose?" Dwivedi said.

"We have performed our political duties because the 'Associated Press' and the 'National Herald' have been propagating the ideals of Nehru and Gandhi," he added.

Dwivedi further said that Young India had bought shares of Associated Press to revive the organisation and to publish newspapers.

"The 'Associated Press' exists and only its shares of the 'Associated Press' have been bought. The 'Associated Press' is being revived for production and newspapers would be published soon," he added.

Dwivedi claimed that 700 employees got their arrears due to the loan.

"We are proud that 700 employees not only got their arrears, even their provident fund was protected, but they have gone home by accepting VRS (voluntary retirement scheme) on their terms and conditions. The 700 number is not small," he said.

Alleging that Congress has confessed to its 'loan crime', Swamy has said that he will be filing a plea before the Election Commission of India seeking derecognition of Congress Party for giving an unsecured loan of Rs. 90 crore to Associated Journals.

The Congress admitted on Friday that the party had indeed made 'interest-free loans from which no commercial profit has accrued to the Indian National Congress'.

"The Indian National Congress has done its duty... to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the law of the land," the statement said,

Swamy had alleged that the Gandhis (Sonia Gandhi and Rahul) floated a private company Young Indians to acquire a public limited company Associated Journal, which published National Herald, for Rs. 50 lakhs. The company they acquired, he said had property worth Rs. 1600 crore in Delhi.

Swamy also alleged that the Congress gave an unsecured loan of Rs. 90 crore to Associated Journals. (ANI)

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