Reviving National Herald an emotional issue: Congress

The Congress Saturday said that offering an interest-free loan to Associated Journals Ltd, publisher of the National Herald, was an "emotional issue" and the party would not let anyone else to decide its political activities.

"It is an emotional issue for us...only Congress will decide what is political activity for it and no other party," Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, shortly after Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy threatened to petition the Election Commission to de-recognize the Congress over the issue.

"It (National Herald) was founded by Nehru to give strength to India's freedom movement. Nehru belonged to the nation and was recognised as a world intellectual," said Dwivedi.
"The newspaper was launched to publicise views for which Nehru fought."

Taking a dig at Swamy, he said, "For us politics is not to mislead people but something which is connected to the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru."
"I am filing a petition today before the Election Commission seeking de-recognition of the Congress," Swamy told reporters Saturday.

On Friday, Dwivedi had accepted that the party had extended an interest-free loan to revive the newspaper, founded by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937.

The Congress also said that no commercial profit accrued to it from the loan as it was interest free.

"The Congress has done its duty in supporting the Associated Journals Ltd to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health," said Dwivedi.

Swamy Thursday alleged "wrongdoing" by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi which he said had led to the takeover of the Herald House in Delhi.

He also asked the Congress to clarify on the Rs.90 crore loan given to the company floated by the Gandhis.

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