National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul allege 'political vendetta' by BJP; Jaitley says Congress leaders should face court

A political storm has erupted over National Herald case, with the Congress accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of "political vendetta" against its leaders.

Updated: Dec 09, 2015, 07:59 AM IST
National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul allege 'political vendetta' by BJP; Jaitley says Congress leaders should face court

New Delhi: A political storm has erupted over National Herald case, with the Congress accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of "political vendetta" against its leaders.

The issue sparked clashes between the two parties on Tuesday, with the Congress paralysing the Parliament.

A court here yesterday asked top Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to appear on December 19 in connection with Subramanian Swamy's complaint in the National Herald case.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi accused the Modi government of pursuing "political vendetta" against them in the National Herald case while the party alleged that such cases are being pushed as the BJP wanted a "Congress-free" India.

A combative Sonia said: "I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anyone," the Congress president asserted, invoking the legacy of the late Prime Minister.

Rahul Gandhi, who is touring Tamil Nadu to see conditions after the floods in the state, said he saw the case as "political vendetta."

A defiant Rahul said, "This is the way the government functions. They think they can do this kind of vendetta politics and stop me from asking questions. This is not going to happen. I am going to keep posing questions, keep pressure on the government."

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected Congress' charge of political vendetta on the part of Modi government in the National Herald case saying it has nothing to do with it.

Jaitley told reporters that the case was a matter of serious corruption as "funds collected for political purposes are being used for commercial activity", adding that the government "doesn't come into the picture" as it was a private complaint.

"No political vendetta. A private complaint was lodged. Government had nothing to do with it. The High Court has dismissed their case and asked them to go and face trial. Nobody in this country has immunity from law. They can challenge the orders in a higher court or face proceedings," he said.

The Delhi High Court had on Monday dismissed the plea of the Gandhis to quash the summons issued to them by a trial court on Swamy's complaint regarding the acquisition of National Herald and asked them to appear before trial court on Tuesday.

Swamy had alleged that the AJL received an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore from the Congress and the party transferred the debt to YIL for Rs 50 lakh. At that time, AJL with Vora as its chairman allegedly said it could not repay the loan and agreed to transfer the company and its assets to YIL.