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New Delhi: Criticizing interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi over the National Herald case, former union minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy accused the Gandhi family of being involved in money laundering.
Speaking exclusively to IANS, Swamy said that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are guaranteed jail time on money laundering charges related to the National Herald case.
Delving into a wide range of issues, Swami spoke about Rama Setu and in particular expressed concern about the current economic condition of the country.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
Q: The National Herald case caused a great stir in the country’s political circles. You were the first to raise this issue. What is the matter and how did it break the law?
Answer: I first raised this issue in 2012 at a press conference and then went to court on this issue in 2013. The Gandhi family challenged my case even in the Supreme Court, but felt disappointed. . The Patiala Chambers Court observed that according to the case filed by me, violations had indeed taken place and a trial should be held.
Since the case involved a financial offense, they were released on bail… That’s how it all started. Hearings were held, many papers and documents appeared.
I was looking for some other documents as well as the procedures that Congress opposed. However, I finally got them after going to the higher courts. I later found out that there were also some income tax scams. The investigation eventually found them guilty. Since the case was appealed, it is now in the Supreme Court.
Q: On what basis did you say there was a violation?
A: Sonia and Rahul Gandhi started a company called ‘Young Indian Limited’ with a paid up capital of only Rs 5 lakh. This firm offered a loan of Rs 50 lakhs to the Congress so that on the basis of this amount the responsibility of Associated Journal Limited could be transferred to Young Indian Limited. That’s how, by offering just Rs 50 lakh, they acquired the company that published the National Herald newspaper. However, the value of the company at that time, including the building and other assets, was around Rs 5,000 crore.
Q: But even if you claim that they have acquired a company worth Rs 5,000 crore for a consideration of only Rs 50 lakh, the Congress, including Rahul Gandhi, is making allegations against the BJP-led government. …
A: Their claims are completely false. I wrote to the government in 2014 after the BJP came to power that the matter should be investigated by the Directorate of Enforcement.
I then wrote to the government that Rs 1 crore was recovered from a bogus Kolkata-based firm called Dotex, which was involved in hawala transactions and money laundering, and out of which Rs 50 lakh was used to take over Associated Journal Limited. I also wrote to ED that Dotex is already being checked for suspicious activity.
I later found out that Congress issued checks to Dotex from Swiss banks and Dotex converted those currencies into Indian Rupees and “paid” Congress… this is a clear example of money laundering and falls under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Q: So you’re saying that Congress and its senior leadership are connected to hawala dealers?
Answer: Of course…they received money from foreign banks, which I also informed the government about.
Q: What do you think the outcome of the National Herald case would be?
Answer: Based on all the facts available in this case, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others will definitely be jailed. If the BJP government remains in power, they will definitely be jailed. But if Congress comes to power, nothing can be said… but even then I would still go to court.
Q: Your plea on the Supreme Court’s plea to declare Ram Seth as a national heritage site will be heard soon. Why did you have to knock on the door of the court on this matter and what do you expect from the court now?
A: In 2007, I filed two petitions in the Madras High Court. Later I approached the Supreme Court. Based on my petition, the Supreme Court refused to approve the plans to break/split Ram Setu for the Sethusamudram project. I have long been involved in the process of declaring Ram Seth as a national heritage site.
My efforts got a big boost after BJP came to power. Eventually I approached the Supreme Court to declare the Ram Setu a national treasure and make the government responsible for its conservation, maintenance and preservation.
The court has already sent notice to the government in this regard and I expect a positive outcome after the hearing scheduled for next week.
Q: You’ve also been vocal on social media about the country’s current economic state…
— Regarding the issue of the economy and the economic state of the country, I have to say that the government’s economic policy is absolutely wrong. The finance minister can’t run things… and officials are just trying to protect themselves.
However, the truth is that the economy is currently in a massive crisis, and it could explode at any moment. I constantly wrote to the Prime Minister about this serious issue.