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Swamy gives Gandhis the jitters

June 27, 2014 02:27 IST

Swamy gives Gandhis the jitters

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Anita Katyal

Court summons for Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi have clearly made the party extremely jittery. But Subramanian Swamy, the man who dragged them to court, believes he has hit gold.

Rediff.com contributor Anita Katyal reports

Fifteen years ago, the maverick Subramanian Swamy hit the headlines when he organised a special tea-party in New Delhi which was attended by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief J Jayalalithaa and Congress president Sonia Gandhi after which the duo joined forces to bring down the Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government.

Swamy, who was then heading his own Janata Party, had given full credit for the result of the no confidence vote to “three great ladies” -- Sonia, Jayalalithaa and Mayawati, describing them as Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga.

However, this bonhomie did not last long.

After enjoying his 15 minutes of fame as the host of the famous tea-party, Swamy was pushed into the background when Sonia, Jayalalithaa and other political parties -- which had combined to vote out Vajpayee -- were unable to form an alternate government.

Not to be put down easily, Swamy soon turned his ire on Jayalalithaa and Sonia.

He has since been running a consistent campaign against the Congress president.

Her children -- Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra -- have also been added to his target list. 

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Swamy recently maintained that Priyanka was an alcoholic.

Since then, the lawyer-turned-politician has used every opportunity to dig up dirt against the Gandhi family.

Swamy has questioned Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s educational qualifications, attacked Sonia’s family members and accused her of smuggling out Indian antiques.

Swamy has often alleged that she is a KGB agent and has vigorously taken up the issue of her foreign origins.

In fact, Swamy even claims that it was his letter to then President A P J Abdul Kalam that prevented her from becoming the country’s Prime Minister in 2004.

During the ongoing investigation into the 2G spectrum scam, Swamy shot off a letter to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh alleging that Sonia’s sisters had received kickbacks in the case.

While Swamy has never been short of conspiracy theories, as far as the Gandhis are concerned, his charges have not been proved.

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Anita Katyal

However, Swamy now believes that he has hit gold with his two-year-old case of cheating and criminal breach of trust against Sonia and Rahul.

The case moved forward on Thursday when a Delhi court found a prima facie case against top Congress leaders -- Sonia and Rahul Gandhi -- and asked them to appear before it on August 7.

Swamy’s allegations have always been dismissed lightly by the Congress in the past.

The stock response to his accusations had been, “You know Swamy…”

But the latest case, resulting in court summons to Sonia and Rahul, has clearly made the Congress extremely jittery.

The others who have been summoned include Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandez, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda.

There was a flurry of activity in the party on Thursday as a special meeting was called at Rahul’s Tuglhaq lane residence to discuss legal options and the talking points for the media.

Rahul’s aide Kanishk Singh called on AICC treasurer Motilal Vora in the afternoon after which they left the party headquarters together.

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Anita Katyal

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, who was in Chennai, was  pressed into service while his colleague Randeep Surjewala was asked to drive down from Punjab at the earliest to enable him to defend the Congress leadership.

Predictably, the Congress has denied the charges as baseless, stating that the party was exploring legal options and would respond accordingly.

At the same time, Singhvi also said that the persons named in the case had not received any information or papers from the court.

According to the case filed by Swamy floated a private company called Young Indian, which acquired a public limited company Associated Journals for a mere Rs 50 lakh.

Associated Journals, set up by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938, published the newspaper National Herald and is said to have properties worth Rs 1600 crore, which, according to Swamy, have been grabbed by the Gandhis.

The newspaper downed shutters nearly six years ago.

Herald House on Delhi’s Fleet Street, which housed the newspaper offices, has been rented out to various companies.

Swamy has also charged that the Congress gave an unsecure loan of Rs 90 crore to Assocaited Journals.

This, he said, is illegal as a political party could not advance loans to a commercial entity.

When these charges first surfaced in 2012, the Congress had admitted that the party had given an interest-free loan to Associated Journals in a bid to revive the National Herald.

A furious Rahul had then threatened to sue Swamy for defamation while describing the charges as “false, baseless and defamatory.”

Although the charges were made two years ago, it is no coincidence that the case has come to light shortly after the installation of the Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.

Swamy’s long and lonely battle against the Gandhis could well be heading into a decisive phase.




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