BENGALURU: Rahul Gandhi is in Bengaluru today for the formal re-launch of the National Herald, a Congress-run newspaper started and edited by first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru before independence.
Mr Gandhi and several other Congress leaders have tweeted about the release this afternoon of a commemorative edition titled “India at a Crossroads: 70 years of Independence” and #NationalHeraldLive was a top trend on social media in the morning.
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. Once this engine of hatred starts, you cannot control it.” PM Modi, he said, “clearly demonstrated that he is not interested in halting this hatred, rather he feeds off it.”
The National Herald was launched in 1938 by Nehru, Rahul Gandhi’s great-grandfather. Last year, the newspaper made a comeback with a digital version, eight years after it shut down with an alleged unpaid debt of about 90 crore rupees.
The National Herald has now come to signify a massive legal battle for the Congress and its two top leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi; they have been accused of using Congress party funds to buy the newspaper’s debts and illegally acquiring property worth 5,000 crore belonging to the newspaper.
Last month, the Delhi High Court refused to stop an income tax investigation into Young India 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.
Mr Gandhi is expected to attend the party’s Karnataka state committee meeting to discuss strategy for the next year’s assembly polls.