BENGALURU : Rahul Gandhi is in Bengaluru today for the first step in the re-launch of the National Herald, a Congress-run newspaper started by Jawaharlal Nehru, which has come to signify a massive legal tangle for the Congress and its two top leaders. Mr Gandhi and several other Congress leaders tweeted about the release of a commemorative edition titled “India at a Crossroads: 70 years of Independence” this afternoon and #NationalHeraldLive was a top trend on social media.
In an interview to the publication, Mr Gandhi targeted the BJP-led government and described joblessness has the biggest challenge for the country today. “Young people are asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi what happened to his promise – his countless promises, almost every second sentence of the Prime Minister is a feverish promise – of creating two crore jobs a year? Yet all the PM has given India is the highest level of unemployment we’ve faced in the last five years.”
The Congress vice president also said “anger and hatred will not convert into jobs, or solutions.” PM Modi, he added, “clearly demonstrated that he is not interested in halting this hatred, rather he feeds off it.”The National Herald was launched in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister and Mr Gandhi’s great-grandfather. Last year, the newspaper returned with a digital version eight years after it shut down with an alleged unpaid debt of about 90 crore rupees.
On June 20, President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to formally launch the print edition in New Delhi as a weekly.The National Herald is at the centre of allegations that the Gandhis set up the Young Indian company to buy the newspaper’s debts using Congress party funds, and illegally acquired property worth 5,000 crore belonging to the newspaper.
Last month, the Delhi High Court refused to stop an income tax investigation into Young Indian but asked the Congress to approach the Income Tax assessing officer. The BJP called it a major setback for the Congress, which, however said it is free to challenge the tax investigation and raise objections with the tax department.