New Delhi: On Tuesday, Union minister Smriti Irani addressed a press conference questioning the involvement of the Nehru-Gandhi-Vadra family in the National Herald ‘scam’.

“Yesterday, the Delhi High Court and (former RBI governor) Raghuram Rajan presented yet another example of corruption saga of Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra and Sonia Gandhi,” Irani said to an assembly of journalists.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi led a government whose functioning between 2006-08, Irani cited Raghuram Rajan as saying, resulted in a huge increase in the non-performing assets (NPA) in the banking sector.

Irani interpreted the High Court’s act of dismissing Rahul Gandhi-Sonia Gandhi’s plea to restrain the income tax department as another piece of “evidence of corruption of the Congress”. “I question Rahul Gandhi,” she said, who “set up a company in 2010, which professed it would not indulge in the business of profit and loss. But Rahul Gandhi took ownership of a company that was in the business of publishing a newspaper.” The company was a commercial enterprise, Irani pointed out. “Why did he then say he is not in the biz of profit and loss?” the Union minister asked.

Irani said that there was a Rs 90 crore loan given to the aforementioned company, Associate Journals, that Rahul Gandhi bought for Rs 50 lakh. “Rahul Gandhi in 2012 interview said to a journalist he had no intention of printing a newspaper. Why did he buy this company then?” Irani asked.

“When the I-T department reassessed that the tax declarations of Rahul Gandhi were not correct, he and his family refused to answer the I-T officers… Can an ordinary citizen do that?” Irani questioned with the insinuation that the Congress’s first family considers itself privileged.

“Why is it that Mr Gandhi, who is quick to hug the Prime Minister would run a mile from the I-T department?” Irani said.

“The Gandhis and Mrs (Priyanka) Vadra own a property worth thousands of crores. This company was set up by Nehru in the 1930s only for publication of newspapers,” Irani underscored the irony thus.

Implying that Rahul Gandhi’s championship of freedom of expression was fake, Irani questioned why the Congress president is asking the court to prohibit the media from reporting the proceedings of the National Herald case in the court.

Briefly dwelling upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to Anganwadi workers, where he had assured them on Monday of free insurance and that the income of Asha volunteers would be increased from Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,500 per head, Irani said, “On the one hand, the Prime Minister helps in the economic uplift of women; on the other, the Gandhi family has consistently dedicated themselves to enhancing their own personal income and assets.”