Is writing off loans to AJL a crime by the Congress, asks MPCC chief Nana Patole

Congress leaders have supported National Herald since 1937; The Associated Journals Ltd was never a company for profit and Congress did no crime in writing off loans to AJL, says Nana Patole

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (file photo).
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (file photo).

Rahi Bhide

Rahul Gandhi alone has been fighting for the people for the last eight years while no opposition leader other than him has had the courage to speak up against the wrong policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee Nana Patole.

By effectively raising concerns of the common man, Rahul Gandhi has effectively become the voice of the country, says Patole, who claims he is not surprised over the timing of the ED's summons to Rahul Gandhi for interrogation in the National Herald case.

"However, Indians are seeing through the pattern. Modi's popularity has taken a nosedive in recent months and the people know who has been raising his voice against injustice. Claiming that the people are now looking for an alternative to the BJP, Patole added that Congress is the only viable and effective option at the national level. Confidence of Congress workers has actually grown and the party is much better placed in facing elections on its own," Patole added.

Rahul Gandhi, he said, had taken informed stands on issues like Demonetisation, GST, Rafael purchase, mismanagement during the pandemic, the lockdown, the oxygen shortage and the vaccine muddle besides the Chinese incursion in Ladakh. He has also carried out a sustained dialogue with experts and Indians at home and abroad. He did not just criticise the government but offered solutions to the problems.

When the Corona epidemic started to spread across the world and the World Health Organisation called for all the border to be closed, Rahul Gandhi was way ahead of the Modi government in recognising the threat while Modi could not see it and was busy cosying up to the then US President at a rally in Ahmedabad. This led to the pandemic going out of control.

Rahul Gandhi was also the only one to speak on issues of farmers, unemployment, Inflation and the economy. Therefore, the Government is trying to rake up trumped up charges to harass Rahul Gandhi and malign him before the people, said Patole.

"We will not remain silent. Rahul Gandhi leads by example and also leads from the front. We will stand by his side and we are determined to ensure that truth prevails.

Asked about prospects of Rahul Gandhi taking over the mantle of Congress President, Patole said, “ whether he will be the party president or not remains to be seen but there is no doubt that he will be an excellent party president. he is patriotic to the core, understands national and public interest and has a good grasp of the country's economic and growth trajectory. He has worked very hard to restructure and revitalise the party organisation.

The ED appears to be working under the influence of the BJP. The Supreme Court has asked institutions like ED to abide by the limits of their jurisdiction because why else would it entertain a private complaint against Rahul Gandhi, the only one among the over five thousand cases it has registered?

Denying charges that there is no inner democracy in the Congress, Patole pointed out that on the contrary Rahul Gandhi had initiated organisational elections in the party. The criticisms voiced by the G-23 group also shows that different voices are allowed within the party.

Under Rahul Gandhi's leadership, youth are being promoted in the party to energise the party organisation. Recalling his meetings with Rahul Gandhi, Patole claimed, "He wants us to present our views clearly to him. He loves it. He has generated excitement in the party and in us. There is an enthusiastic atmosphere in the Congress."

Pointing out that Congress had always supported National Herald and The Associated Journals Ltd., Patole wondered why writing off loans to AJL by the Congress should be deemed to be corruption. Congress leaders invested in National Herald and AJL, paid the workers, supported the newspaper in crisis --so where is the question of corruption? Rahul Gandhi or the Gandhi family has not received a paisa from AJL or National Herald, he pointed out. AJL, he added, never paid dividend to shareholders because it was not a commercial company set up for profit. And yet Rahul Gandhi is being maligned.

"There are organisational changes taking place in Maharashtra Congress. There are 62 assembly seats in Vidarbha. Last time the party won 44 seats. next time we will win more seats. In some districts of Marathwada, Congress used to get one or two seats. In each of these districts the tally next time will be higher. Other parties indulge in and promote caste politics. Not so in Congress.

Asked of the OBC community's support to the BJP, he said, "The OBC community in Vidarbha stands firmly behind us. Caste wise census must be done. Confusion should cease. Economic, social and educational benefits should be given to other backward classes. OBCs are with us because of these provisions."

the bigots in power need to be voted out because they have embarrassed the country at home and abroad. Or else India will meet the same fate as Sri Lanka and Nepal. India has had to apologise to Islamic countries. The economy is in a shambles. The rupee is depreciating. The country is crying for change and looking for a visionary and a more capable leader, he asserted.

Click here to join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines