New Delhi, Nov 2 : Unfazed by Subramanian Swamy's charges over acquisition of a company that published the National Herald newspaper, the Congress on Friday dared the Janata Party chief to sue Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi contending that the onus to prove allegations lay with those who make these.
“If Swamy has guts, he should sue Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. It is for those to prove charges, who make allegations. If there is a violation let them take it to court,” party spokesperson P.C. Chacko told reporters responding to a host of questions at the AICC briefing.
Chacko's challenge came a day after Rahul Gandhi threatened to pursue “all legal actions” against Swamy dubbing his allegations as “utterly false, entirely baseless and defamatory”.
Chacko, however, refrained from giving a categorical reply whether the Congress would sue the Janata Party chief as suggested by Rahul Gandhi on Thursday.
“Future course is open to us. All options are open to us,” he merely said.
He also parried questions about the specific charges levelled by Swamy as well the Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley on the issue.
“Whether Swamy will sue or not, we want to see. It is not our responsibility. It is the responsibility of the people, who raise an allegation. We are not responsible for it. We have explained that there is no wrong thing.
“They have been doing that consistently. He is holding press conference and running away to make next allegation the next day. They are making blind allegations. They have nothing to substantiate. No newspaper's property is valued in real estate terms,” Chacko said.
He said that if there is any violation of Income Tax Act or the Company Act, “we challenge them to prove it. There is no commercial transaction. People are trying to mislead and gain out of confusion”.
A late evening statement issued by Congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said, the Congress had indeed given zero-interest loans from which"no commercial profit has accrued to the Congress.
Dwivedi said: "It is a matter of pride for the Congress that it has supported the Associated Journals Ltd, publisher of the National Herald and other newspapers, founded by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937, which have played a role in our freedom movement.
"Congress has done its duty in supporting The Associated Journals Ltd to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the laws of the land. This support was extended by the Indian National Congress in the form of interest free loans from which no commercial profit has accrued to the Congress."
Meanwhile, Dr Subramanian Swamy told a news channel over phone that he has already sent letters to the Prime Minister, the Election Commission and the Central Vigilance Commissioner, and would await their replies before taking legal action.
"I waited for one and a half years for a reply from the PM office in the 2G scam", he pointed out.
In Shimla, BJP leader Arun Jaitley lashed out at the Congress and demanded answers as to how a political party, which gets tax exemptions from political donations could extend interest free loans to commercial enterprises.
"This is for the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Election Commission to look into, as tax laws and election commission's guidelines have been violated. We want answers, not adjectives from Rahul Gandhi", Jaitley said.