Smriti Irani Targets Rahul Gandhi on National Herald Case, Blames Sonia Gandhi For NPA Mess
File image of Union Minister Smriti Irani | (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, Sept 11: Training guns at the top leadership of the Congress, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday attacked Rahul Gandhi over the tax evasion allegation levelled against him in the National Herald case. She also targeted his mother, Sonia Gandhi, accusing her of being responsible for the "NPA mess".

Addressing a press conference, Irani said the Delhi High Court has dealt a major setback to the Gandhi family, by asking them to undergo tax reassessment for the year 2011-12.

The court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by Rahul Gandhi which asked the court to bar the Income Tax department from re-assessing him, Sonia Gandhi and party veteran Sam Pitroda.

The I-T department is keen for the reassessment as in 2012, the Associated Journal Limited - parent firm of newspaper National Herald - was taken over by Young India Pvt Ltd, a company whose 38 per cent shareholder each are Rahul and Sonia.

"Why is it that Mr. Rahul Gandhi who is too quick to hug Prime Minister, wants to run a mile away when it comes to to the Income Tax officer," questioned Irani.

Sonia Gandhi responsible for NPA mess

The issue of non-performing assets, Irani claimed, is due to the mismanagement of banking system when the UPA was in power.

Instead of targeting the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Irani's fury was directed at Sonia Gandhi, the then chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance.

"UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi led a government that attacked the very core of the Indian banking system. Raghuram Rajan said that between 2006-08, the UPA functioning led to increased NPAs in India's banking structure," Irani said.

Raghuram Rajan, the former RBI Governor, told a parliamentary panel that he considers the liberal grants of loans between 2006-08 - when the economy was booming - as one of the prime reasons for the rise of NPAs.

"Raghuram Rajan's statement clearly proves that it is Congress who is responsible for increased NPA. Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra & Sonia Gandhi wanted to sabotage the taxpayer's money," Irani said.