Union minister Smriti Irani today launched a renewed assault on Congress, particularly on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi while addressing media. Referring to Delhi High Court’s rejection of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi’s plea challenging the Income Tax notice seeking tax reassessment for the financial year 2011-2012 in connection with the National Herald Case, she said “The court yesterday produced yet another evidence of deep-seated corruption in the hallowed of Congress party”. She said, Rahul Gandhi had set up a company in 2010 “which professed that it will not indulge in profit and loss businesses, but ironically, Mr Gandhi went on to take possession of a company called Associated Journals, whose only function was publication of newspapers”.
Smriti Irani added that as per media reports at the time of the purchase, Associated Journals was a commercial enterprise. She asked why Rahul Gandhi had purchased a commercial company with commercial activities while he had earlier said in his statement that he was not interested in profit and loss, and added that Rahul Gandhi should answer this question.
The minister said that as per statements of some Congress leaders and reported in media, a loan of ₹90 crore was given to Associated Journals, which was bought by Rahul Gandhi’s company for ₹50 lakhs. She asked when in the history of India has anyone seen a 90 crore loan bought for only 50 lakhs. She recalled Rahul Gandhi’s statement to a journalist in 2012 when he said that, he and his company have no intentions of printing a newspaper. She said, “one can then question, why would you buy a company whose sole function was printing a newspaper, when you publicly declare that you have no such interest”.
“When the income tax assessed, re-assessed, that declarations made by Mr Gandhi’s company were not correct, it is my belief after reading media reports, that Mr Gandhi and his family refused to answer the Income Tax officers on the basis of notice served to them”, the minister added. She asked, can any Indian citizen defy an income tax notice when asked to come and produce answers, adding, “why is it that Mr Gandhi, who is quick to hug the prime minister, would run a mile when it comes to an income tax office”.
The minister asked, why Rahul Gandhi goes to court and says nobody should report on the happenings of the National Herald case, when he presents himself as a supporter of free speech, why he wants to curtail free speech when it comes to his faulty income tax assessments. She said that this is the saga of corruption, a national hera-pheri that Congress party leadership is indulging in.