Congress President Sonia Gandhi said she will not celebrate her birthday today, December 9, as a mark of respect for those who were killed in Kashmir terror attacks and also in the Maoist attacks in Jharkhand.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to wish her on Twitter. “Best wishes to Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi on her birthday. May Almighty bless her with a long & healthy life,” PM Modi tweeted.
The Congress party said in a statement: “In solidarity with the martyred army and police personnel there, Mrs Gandhi has asked Congresspersons not to celebrate her birthday.”
Sonia Gandhi, who turns 68, was also asked by a Delhi court to attend hearings today over the National Herald acquisition case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. However, her lawyers may represent her in the court to plead exemption today.
In August, Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha had issued summons to Mrs Sonia Gandhi and others in the case following a stay order by the Delhi High Court. Even Sam Pitroda was asked to attend the hearings.
Subramaniam Swamy has alleged a case of cheating and misappropriation of funds in the acquisition of the daily National Herald by Young Indian (YI).
The National Herald was established in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru and ceased operations in 2008.In Nov. 2012, BJP leader Swamy moved a Delhi court alleging fraud and land grabbing by Young India by acquiring a public limited company Associated Journals Private Ltd(AJPL) through their private company, Young Indian.
Prior to it, in February 2011 AJPL took a loan of Rs. 90 crore from the All India Congress Committee at zero interest, which the party said was for revival of the newspaper and not for commercial interests.
The hearing of the case had been taken up and the Enforcement Directorate has initiated probe from money laundering angle. However, the Delhi High Court has stayed criminal proceedings against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and others till 3 September, 2014. The trial court on August 28 postponed it to December 9, which happens to be Sonia Gandhi’s birthday.
This is the Congress president’s first birthday after her party’s decimation in the national election in May, which saw the BJP taking power with a massive mandate.