The BJP on Monday said the Congress call for a shutdown across the country was a "deliberate attempt" to divert public attention from the National Herald case which also involved former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra told the media that the Congress had deliberately announced the 'Bharat Bandh' against rising fuel prices and tumbling rupee against US dollar as it knew that Delhi High Court would dismiss on Monday the pleas of Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi against the income tax notice for reassessment of tax returns for financial year 2011-2012."Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi knew very well that they are going to lose the case in the High Court... (that) the verdict is going to be against the Gandhi family... that is the reason why they gave a call for the Bharat Bandh on Monday," Patra said.He alleged that the court order proved that the Gandhi family had looted the poor in the country."The Gandhi family hatched a conspiracy that we cannot even think of. They have been exposed. Crores have been looted. We want an answer from Rahul Gandhi. The time has come," he said while claiming that the family had embezzled Rs 5,000 crore of public money in the National Herald case.
The High Court order on Monday came on a plea of Rahul, Sonia Gandhi and party colleague Oscar Fernandes against the March notice for tax reassessment for allegedly not disclosing income earned through Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) for 2011-2012.The I-T Department told the court that the petitioners had concealed facts for evading tax.Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are major stakeholders in Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) which acquired Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the publisher of National Herald newspaper."Monday's court verdict has exposed how hard-earned money of the common people was looted by a family," Patra said.The BJP leader claimed the complicity of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the case. "Why was there wrong assessment of income tax?" he asked.In March, Young Indian had requested the court to stay recovery of tax and interest totalling Rs 249.15 crore raised in pursuance to a notice dated December 27, 2017, issued under Section 156 of the I-T Act for the assessment year 2011-12.The company submitted that it is a charitable firm and does not have any income and that Income Tax authorities have wrongly raised the demand for Rs 249 crore.