Cong says extended `interest-free' loan to revive `Nehru's newspaper'

Janardan DwivediThe Congress Party today admitted that it had given an interest-free loan (presumably Rs90 crore) to revive the defunct National Herald newspaper, with which India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was associated, but rejected Subramanian Swamy's accusations.

Congress said it extended "interest-free loans to revive the defunct National Herald newspaper, from which no commercial profit has accrued to the Indian National Congress".

"The Indian National Congress has done its duty... to help initiate a process to bring the newspaper back to health in compliance with the law of the land,'' the statement said.

The statement follows attack by opposition the BJP after allegations made by Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy against Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi.

Swamy on Thursday alleged that the Gandhis floated a private company `Young Indians' to "illicitly" acquire a public limited company Associated Journal, which published National Herald, for Rs50 lakh.

The company they acquired, he says, has property worth Rs1,600 crore in Delhi. Swamy also alleged that the Congress gave an unsecured loan of Rs90 crore to Associated Journals.