EC rejects Swamy plea against Cong

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday rejected Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy's petition for derecognition of the Congress on the plea that it had violated the law by loaning Rs 90 crore to a private company Associated Journals Pvt Ltd (AJPL) which owns National Herald and Quami Awaz.

The decision to reject the plea was taken at a meeting of the full Commission chaired by Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath. The ECI dismissed the plea on the ground that the act of the Congress did not fall under any of the grounds specified for derecognition of a party.

On his part, Swamy indicated that he could move court against the ECI decision. "Way forward is by going to court. The vigilant citizen duty is to strive. Make the system work. Never give up," Swamy tweeted after the decision.

In his petition, Swamy had demanded that the Congress headed by Sonia Gandhi be derecognised for allegedly violating guidelines and rules for registration as well as recognition of political parties in giving a loan of Rs 90 crore to a company named AJPL in which Sonia and her son, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, are shareholders.

The ECI told Swamy his letters dated November 3 and 5 were "not maintainable" under paragraph 16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968.

"The ground... seeking derecognition of the party ... does not fall under any of the grounds specified under paragraph 16A for such recognition," the ECI wrote in a letter to Swamy.

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