Accusing the government of acting with “revenge” and “malice” against the National Herald newspaper, the Congress Thursday said it will fight the government with the same zeal and spirit as it fought the “oppressive” British and thwart efforts to “silence” the voice of the newspaper. The remarks came on a day the Delhi High Court gave a breather to the Congress-owned National Herald to maintain status quo till November 22, after it challenged the Centre’s order to vacate its premises in the national capital by November 15.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Modi government is “blinded by revenge” in targeting the National Herald, the newspaper founded by Jawaharlal Nehru and other freedom fighters to take on the British.
“Suffocating autocracy and malice drives chain of malicious actions against National Herald and its parent company, AJL. The more prime minister Modi faces ire of the people and stares at defeat in the five election-going states, the more vengeful are sinister actions against National Herald.
“Let us remind the BJP government that National Herald fought the oppressive British regime till we defeated it and we’ll fight the government with the same zeal and in the same spirit. The voice of National Herald cannot be silenced,” he said.
There was no immediate comment from the BJP on Surjewala’s charges but the ruling party has often accused the Congress leadership of corruption in the National Herald case.
Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of the newspaper, approached the high court on November 12 challenging the October 30 order of the urban development Ministry, ending its 56-year-old lease and asking it to vacate the premises at the press enclave in ITO.
In its petition, the AJL alleged that the proceedings by the urban development ministry were being initiated for the purposes of “scuttling the voices of dissent” and the voice of the largest opposition party in the country, a reference to the Congress.