Union Minister Smriti Irani, in an exclusive conversation with Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, launched an unsparing attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi in connection with the National Herald case. Irani said that even as Rahul Gandhi himself talks of transparency, he hides his own financial transactions.
When she was asked whether she thinks that Rahul Gandhi loses the right to run for public office on issues of propriety, Smriti Irani quipped, “Has moral standing ever dissuaded the Gandhi family?”
"Has proprietary or this kind of a moral standing ever dissuaded the Gandhi family into doing something which is actually right and letting go of scandalous move? I think not. History has shown that everytime the Gandhis have broken a law, be it thrusting emergency upon the Indian polity and on the Indian citizen, or for that matter even the tax evasion case as was decided by the honorable High Court, it is always the legal process that brings them to justice. And, I am glad that the wheels of justice are turning now and the liabilities that are payable hopefully will be paid," said the Union Textiles Minister.
"What Mr Gandhi has to hide from the income tax authorities and the people of India, is something only he can answer," she added.
The Union Minister then went on to ask Rahul Gandhi to pay the taxes, saying, “Mr. Gandhi, Don’t evade the taxes.”
Earlier in the day, too, Smriti Irani attacked the Gandhis on corruption, accusing them of “sabotaging tax payer’s money” while at the same time questioning Rahul Gandhi as to why Young India, a publication started by the Gandhis, bought a commercial company.
Meanwhile, BJP national president Amit Shah also launched a blistering attack on Rahul Gandhi over the alleged tax scam in connection with the National Herald case. While addressing 'Enlightened citizen conference' in Jaipur, Shah raked up Delhi High Court’s judgment on the National Herald case and said:
“Yesterday you have seen the judgment on National Herald case, the court said ‘don't come here’. They have no answers for Rs 90 crore loan source,” said Amit Shah.
In a massive blow to the Gandhis, the Delhi High Court on Monday rejected Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi's plea challenging the Income Tax notice seeking tax reassessment for the financial year 2011-2012, in connection with the National Herald Case. The petition regarding the same, filed by senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, has also been rejected by the court.
The Delhi High Court while rejecting the petitions, said the Income Tax department has powers to reopen tax proceedings and that the petitioners can approach income tax department with their grievances.