Says party did not flout RP Act by giving interest-free Rs. 90-crore loan to AJL

The Election Commission on Tuesday rejected outright Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy’s plea for de-recognition of the Congress, saying it had not violated any provision of the Representation of the People Act by giving an interest-free loan of Rs. 90 crore to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which owns the now-defunct National Herald.

Sections 29B and 29 C of the Act “provide for the manner in which political parties … may raise their funds… [but] there is no provision … prescribing the manner in which the political parties may use their funds,” the EC pointed out. In its four-page reply, it also said that nothing in Dr. Swamy’s letter proved there was any violation of the Model Code of Conduct through the loan to AJL.

Meanwhile, the Congress said Dr. Swamy’s accusations always ended up being rejected: they were not based on hard evidence, but were made to seek publicity. “So many political parties in this country run newspapers and TV channels — it is commonplace,” a party functionary said.

No leak, says EC

The EC also took exception to the Janata Party leader’s accusation that the Commission had leaked information on its decision to newspapers. “The Commission takes serious exception to your allegations questioning the impartiality of the Commission, which the Commission rejects as completely baseless ...The Commission had not taken any decision in the matter on the 3rd or 4th of November and, therefore, leaking of the decision… does not arise.”

On his part, Dr. Swamy said he would now take his plea to court as he had expected that it would be rejected by the EC. “This was a procedure to go through before approaching the court,” he said. He also accused the EC of being “a very pliant institution.”

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