After the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday summoned Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in connection with the AJL-National Herald case, the Congress termed it as nothing but a diversionary tactic.
“I want to make it clear at the outset that the fake issue of AJL (Associated Journals) is an attempt by BJP’s propaganda machinery to deviate, divert and digress the attention of citizens from the multifarious vital issues of inflation, falling GDP, social unrest and divisiveness in this country,” said senior Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.
“Well-known baiter of the Congress since 2014-15, the ED knows it has no material to seek summons for the Congress President or the former Congress President,” he said.
“The AJL is a venerable decades old company. It carries the great flag of ‘National Herald’ with the legacy and the evaluation. Over the years, it was there to project a thought process, a set of values, but commercially it could not succeed.
“Therefore, AJL had a lot of financial problems over the decades. Ultimately the Congress stepped in and over a period of time gave Rs 90 crore odd as financial support at different times,” Singhvi said.
“So AJL became an indebted company, a company with debt. Now comes a remarkable thing. AJL did what every company in India does, what every company abroad does, what is known as basics of cooperate activity… it converted its debt into equity.
“So, this debt of Rs 90 crore was assigned to a new company and you must note what the new company is, it is called ‘Young India’, so that the books of AJL became debt free. ‘Young India’, which received the debt, was a newly-created company under a special provision of the Companies Act, Section 25, which is a not for profit company,” Singhvi added.
“It is an independent entity, so where is the money laundering? How does the question arise? Where is the money? So there is no transfer of money, there is no transfer of property and yet a charge of money laundering has been levelled,” the Congress leader said.
“Young India cannot use the money in any form, because it can neither pay dividend nor accumulate profit by which it can give out the money. This is why better minds, objective minds, non-malevolent, non-malafide minds closed this case. We had said so earlier as far back as 2015, but as malafide as this government is, it sacked the head of the ED at that time,” Singhvi stated.
“This is part of a larger disease. A disease which will consume the ruling party ultimately. The disease is one of attacking every political party purely on vendetta terms, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Farooq Abdullah to DMK functionaries, from Gujarat to West Bengal, from Jignesh Mevani to Mamata Banerjee her family,” Singhvi said.