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Millennium Post

Will the Gandhis come clean now?

There’s no two opinion on the fact that bad times for the Congress have only begun and that they are here to stay for a pretty long time. The latest humiliation comes in the form of the court summon to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case and the allegations of ‘cheating’ and ‘misappropriation of property’ against the mother-son duo. The utterly unscrupulous takeover of the now defunct National Herald group, extending ownership of the Rs 1,600-crore worth building located in a prime real estate location in the heart of the national capital, and floating an equally dubious non-profit organisation Young Indian to act as the front for these questionable transactions are some of the charges leveled against the former first family of Indian politics and the grand old party. This, in addition to the string of allegations against the Gandhi son-in-law Robert Vadra of buying and selling huge tracts land illegally and in contravention of the rules of the country, is really a death blow to the integrity and sanctity of a national-level political party that has been given the worst defeat in the history of Independent India. The unlawful acquisition of real estate worth a couple of thousand crores by using the closed newspaper with an illustrious past only testifies to the absolute lack of a moral centre in the Gandhi-Vadra universe. Hence, given the precedents of wide-scale illegality practiced by either members of the Gandhi family or their acquaintances, it is imperative that Subramanian Swamy’s petition in Delhi court is given a proper hearing.

     Even though counter-allegations from the Congress camp brand this exercise as a case of extracting political vendetta by the BJP-led NDA regime in the centre, it is only half the truth. Investigation under the Income Tax Act must be carried out since this is a matter of not just national interest, but also an issue of transparency and accountability within the political outfits themselves. In this light, buying off a defunct newspaper and acquiring ownership of a plum property in Delhi and transferring funds to float a disputable non-profit company to attract donations are actions whose credibility and legal technicality come under heavy scrutiny anyway. That Swamy has a longstanding rivalry with the Congress first family is another matter, which must not come in the way of an unbiased judicial review of the case. However, what needs to be reiterated is that political parties and their top bosses cannot be exempted from the rule of the law, which is applicable equally to every citizen of this country. Moreover, the rampant corruption that was the hallmark of the former UPA regime must not be allowed to go unrectified and unaddressed now, when the mandate itself has been about anti-corruption and clean governance.          
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