Top Stories

Fresh Trouble For National Herald In BJP-Ruled Madhya Pradesh

National Herald case: Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were questioned by the EDBhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government will launch an investigation to check whether assets in the state owned by…

Fresh Trouble For National Herald In BJP-Ruled Madhya Pradesh

National Herald case: Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were questioned by the ED

Bhopal:

The Madhya Pradesh government will launch an investigation to check whether assets in the state owned by the newspaper National Herald, linked to the Gandhis, are being used for commercial purposes or the land use was changed, a minister has said. 

“It (National Herald properties in Madhya Pradesh) will be investigated. If commercial use is found, then the property being used commercially will be sealed,” state Urban Development Minister Bhupendra Singh said.

“The land was allotted in the name of freedom fighters, which was later transferred in the name of Congress leaders the same way the Rs 5,000 crore property of National Herald in Delhi is now in the name of Sonia Gandhi,” Mr Singh said.

The Gandhis face multiple cases in courts over alleged theft of the newspaper’s machines, non-payment of compensation to retrenched employees of Navjeevan, and a suit filed by the Bhopal Development authority, or BDA, which leased land to the newspaper, seeking to revoke the lease.

Associated Journals Ltd, or AJL, was leased 1.14 acre at the Press Complex in Bhopal for Rs 1 lakh in 1982. AJL published English daily National Herald, Hindi daily Navjeevan and Urdu daily Kaumi Awaz at that time.

When the lease expired in 2011, BDA officials went to the site and found that it was being used allegedly for commercial purposes instead of publication of newspapers. The publication of newspapers had already stopped in 1992, and commercial establishments had started to take its place after that.

BDL alleged it found that AJL sold parts of the allotted land to different buyers, and the ownership of those plots also changed several times. As a result, the BDA refused to renew the lease. The site currently has a unit of Vishal Mega Mart and outlets of retail brands including Mangalam and Lotus. BDA cancelled the lease in 2012, and sent notices to take back the land.

The office of Young Indian in Delhi was sealed by the Enforcement Directorate yesterday in the alleged money laundering case linked to National Herald. Young Indian had taken over assets worth over Rs 800 crore of AJL, which runs National Herald.

The Income Tax Department says this money should be assets of Young Indian shareholders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, for which they should pay tax. The Congress claims Young Indian is a non-profit and so the shareholders cannot make any money from its assets.

Mr Gandhi was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged money laundering case in June for nearly 50 hours over five days. His mother Sonia Gandhi was also questioned by the central agency.

The BJP had hit back at massive protests by Congress workers and leaders while Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were being questioned. The BJP had said the Congress was not protesting to save democracy, but to save Rahul Gandhi’s properties worth Rs 2,000 crore.

Even today, the Congress will hold protests against rising prices, unemployment and good and services tax, or GST, rate hike, even as the Gandhis face investigation in the National Herald case.

Waiting for response to load…

(This story has not been created/edited by Unicaus and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

What's your reaction?