New Delhi: The Congress has called a meeting of state in-charges, general secretaries and state presidents on Thursday to prepare for the second leg of the Jan Jagran Abhiyan, an agitation programme against inflation. However, sources said the party wants to make a political move on the ED summons and send a message to its workers.
The party is mulling a suggestion that party MPs should accompany former party president Rahul Gandhi to the Enforcement Directorate’s office and many MPs have already written to the party for it. The final call is likely to be taken on Thursday.
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi was to appear before the ED on Thursday but due to being infected by Covid she has sought more time.
The case has been lodged against various Congress leaders, including the Gandhis, for allegedly misappropriating National Herald funds.
Terming the ED summons “politics of revenge,” Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala had said: “This is politics of vendetta and revenge by the BJP to target opposition leaders as they have done to other opponents in the country.”
“National Herald newspaper was started in 1942. At that time the British tried to close it, today the Modi government is also doing the same thing as the Britishers did. Now the ED is being used for this purpose…”
As there is no money involved in the case, Congress sources say that the case was closed in 2015.
The AJL was incorporated as a public limited company on November 20, 1937 under the Indian Companies Act, 1913, for the purpose of publication of newspapers in different languages. It started publishing newspapers such as “National Herald” in English, “Navjivan” in Hindi and “Quami Awaz” in Urdu.
The publication of the newspapers was suspended on various occasions due to financial difficulties and labour problems, and on April 2, 2008, the newspaper was shut down.
The properties were allotted for carrying out the newspaper business and publication of newspapers in different languages. However, it was also allowed to let out these properties on rent to cater to its publication business, post-closure of the newspaper.
The office of AJL was shifted from Lucknow on September 1, 2010 to its Delhi property situated at 5A, Herald House, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg.
Amid this chain of events, the All India Congress Committee (AICC), an apex body of the Congress, had advanced loans to AJL from time to time.
On March 31, 2010, there was an outstanding loan of Rs 88,86,68,976 (over Rs 88 crore) and a further loan of Rs 1.35 crore was received during the period April 1, 2010 to December 16, 2010, aggregating to Rs 90.21 crore.
On December 16, 2010, the AICC transferred the entire outstanding loan of Rs 90.21 crore due from AJL in favour of appellant company, Young Indian, for a consideration of Rs 50 lakh.
Further, almost 99.99 per cent shares of AJL were transferred to Young Indian.
On December 13, 2010, in the first Managing Committee meeting of Young Indian, Rahul Gandhi was appointed as Director.
On January 22, 2011, a fresh allotment of the shares of Young Indian were made, in which 1,900 shares, having a paid-up value of Rs 1,90,000, were alloted to Rahul Gandhi and 1,350 shares with a paid-up amount of Rs 1,35,000 in the name of Sonia Gandhi among other shareholders.