Friday, November 16, 2012

The Last Gasp of The National Herald

                                      (by Subramanian Swamy )
          To begin with, and briefly: In 2011, Ms. Sonia Gandhi and her son, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, both MPs and hence public servants under the Prevention of Corruption Act,  had floated under Section 25 of the Companies Act, a company called Young Indian Private Ltd.

The Ma-Beta corrupt duo hold 76% of the total equity [38% shares each] in the company, while Motilal Vora, the Congress party Treasurer and Oscar Fernandez,  held the remaining 24%.  If any person or group holds more than 74% of a company’s  equity, then that  company can be virtually administered without caring for other shares holders. Thus, Young Indian is a Gandhi-Maino private enterprise that is to be directly administered by the duo.

   Now we come to the brazen corrupt plot of the duo to acquire another well endowed asset-wise. The Associated Journals Private Ltd. (AJPL), is that another company. AJPL is  the owner- publisher of National Herald, Navjivan, and Quami Awaz newspapers, that was set up by prominent Congress leaders in 1938. Jawarharlal Nehru became President of the company.

Because its object was to publish a newspaper APJL acquired  at concessional rates from central and state governments high value real estate properties in Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Indore, Haryana, and several places in Uttar Pradesh, and some places like on the prime land in Delhi and Lucknow,  built massive offices on public donations for the publishing of its newspapers.

But like all Nehru-Gandhi-Maino proclaimed public “enterprises” , AJPL main mission of publishing newspapers, soon ended in failure . By 1970s all three newspapers were running in terrible losses, and failed to pay employees wages. Labour agitation forced the owners to close the operations in a lock-out. The shareholders list by then had got depleted by death, or alienation, or sale and thus AJPL came fully into the grip of the Nehru dynasty with family retainer Motilal Vora as chowkidar-President,

By 2008 or a little earlier, Rahul Gandhi was inducted as a shareholder in AJ Private Ltd. Rahul Gandhi failed to disclose this in his sworn affidavit filed as a candidate for Lok Sabha in 2009.

In his sworn Assets statement he has declared as ‘Nil’ his  shares in companies, when in fact he at least owned 3 lakh shares in AJPL, and controlling shares in Back- Ops company that he set up during the NDA tenure. Back Ops ownership was later handed over to sister Priyanka by a back dated letter in 2009, who then promptly wound up the company in 2011—maintaining the family tradition of failed enterprises. The assets acquired following Back-Ops liquidation went into Priyanka’s folder.

In 2010, “Operation AJPL acquisition” began by Young Indian and executed in four steps:

(i)           Step 1: Moribund AJPL obtains an unsecured zero interest loan of Rs. 90 plus crores from AICC in 2011 with no stated  purpose [but now the spin given by Congress spokesman Dwidedi is that the loan was for the emotional attachment of Congress party for National Herald]. Section 13A of the Income Tax Act read with Section 29 A to C of the Representation of the People Act prohibits any political party from giving loans to commercial or related enterprises.  Note: Motilal Vora is President of AJPL which received the loan, he is Treasurer of AICC which gave the loan, and he is also a share holder and Director in Young Indian, the prospective buyer of AJPL !

(ii)         Step 2: Young Indian enters the picture with a proposal made by Young Indian Director Motilal Vora to AJPL President Motilal Vora that he will speak to AICC Treasurer Motilal Vora to unburden AJPL of the loans due to AICC by a financial derivative of transfer of liability to Young Indian. Note: It helps that Sonia Gandhi is AICC President and Rahul Gandhi is AICC senior-most General Secretary .

(iii)       Step 3: AJPL acting by a mere Board Resolution dated 20.2.12 and not by a Shareholders Meeting, sells by transfer of shares to Young Indian for a mere Rs 50 lakhs.

Who cares that Young Indian is not a media company and which cannot buy a media company that has got land allotted by government and obtained bank loans on the condition that it is a media company producing newspapers?

(iv)       Before buying AJPL,  RG transfers 2,62,411 of his 3 lakh shares in AJPL to sister Priyanka. Robert Vadra is left out of the deal because Aruna Roy will see to it that Kejriwal will cut him to size, with Ahmed Patel ensuring 24x7 media publicity to scare the wits out of Mr. Vadra.

(v)         Step 4: The 7-storey Herald House now securely with Young Indian, the Mama-beta duo illegally open Herald House which is in prime area of New Delhi, for renting. A Passport Seva Kendra rents a large space of two floors, and Minister SM Krishna inaugurates the office. Huge six months rent is being collected by Young Indian from multinational companies who are soon start offices in Herald House. Acquisition process is now complete.

(vi)       Thus the deal was to grab the Rs. 1600 crore worth Herald House and other properties of the National Herald/Quami Awaz in Delhi, and another Rs. 3400 crores in different parts of UP, Maharasthra and M.P. for which Young Indian made a commitment to pay a mere Rs. 50 lakh to AICC for owning the Rs. 90 crore odd obtained from AICC as an unsecured zero interest loan and now written off by the AICC.

Now what illegalities have been committed?

1.   The deal is a sham, bogus, and a violation of several laws including Companies, Income-Tax Act, Indian Penal Code Sections 405-08, 420, 467, and 193; Election Law, and Government Residence Allotment Rules.

2.   The un-built on land in Mumbai, Indore, Bhopal, Punchkula, Lucknow etc., etc., have been illegally sold to builders of luxury sky scrapers, mall, and housing for Congress Ministers.This is violation of the land allotment orders and a criminal breach of trust.

3.   Young Indian filed statements with the RoC in March 2012 disclosing that the shareholders meetings were held in Sonia Gandhi’s Government allotted 10, Janpath . This is in violation of the law since the 10, Janpath, New Delhi is Government provided accommodation which cannot be used for commercial purposes and business.

4.   More than 80% of the persons mentioned in the 2011 shareholders list filed with the RoC are deceased, such prominent persons such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sharda Prasad, GD Birla etc., as also some defunct Kolkata based companies. Hence the Board Meeting of AJPL handing over the company to Young Indian is violation of the Companies Act and is an offence as well as a fraud on the public.

I urge therefore an immediate SFIO/CBI probe into this dubious stinking deal between Young India and The Associated Journals, and from the Election Commission for the illegality of the AICC I giving a loan to a private company.

Mr. Rahul Gandhi also committed perjury when he told a lie in his 2009 nomination paper for Lok Sabha that he owned ‘NIL’ shares when he owned in fact over 3 lakh shares of AJPL in 2009.

The bottom line is that National Herald, for which great grand father Nehru pompously said:”I will sell Anand Bhavan but never National Herald”, has been strangulated to death by Rahul Gandhi and his mother. Young Indian objectives do not include bring out a newspaper. Rahul Gandhi himself told the PTI on October 9, 2012 after swallowing AJPL, that “We have no intention to start or revive a newspaper”. The last gasp of National Herald, Navjivan, and Quami Awaz has been heard. For just Rs 50 lakhs, Rs 5000 crores of property have been obtained.

Ironically, Herald House is built on a kabaristan in Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg to start a newspaper from Delhi. The Mama-son duo know the Biblical saying—from dust to dust.