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Alleging Chinese donations, MHA sets up committee to probe Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

"Did the UPA government take a bribe from the Chinese?" asked Ravi Shankar Prasad
Alleging Chinese donations, MHA sets up committee to probe Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
Alleging Chinese donations, MHA sets up committee to probe Rajiv

ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has set up an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate investigations into the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust. According to a home ministry tweet, there were violations of various legal provisions of PMLA, Income Tax Act and FCRA. A special director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will head the committee.

The BJP had alleged that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had received donations from the Chinese embassy in India in 2005-06. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of the RGF and its nine-member board includes senior Congress leaders like Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and P. Chidambaram.

The BJP alleged that the foundation, in its annual report of 2005-06, had included Chinese donations in the list. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was after taking this donation that the foundation recommended a free trade agreement with China.

"Did the then UPA government take a bribe from the Chinese? Is it not true that after taking this donation, the foundation recommended a free trade agreement with China, which was heavily tilted in favour of the Chinese?" Prasad asked.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of the RGF and its nine-member board includes senior Congress leaders like Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and P. Chidambaram.

According to the RGF website, from 1991 to 2009, the foundation worked on a number of critical issues, including health, literacy, science and technology, women’s and children’s development, disability support, Panchayati Raj institutions, natural resource management, and libraries. It says in 2010, the foundation decided to focus on education.

The Congress had claimed that the RGF issue raised by the BJP government was a "manufactured charge" and "diversionary tactic" to deflect attention from the LAC crisis, and the money the NGO received from China was used for the welfare of differently-abled people and research on Sino-India relations.

"Diversion, disinformation and distraction are the diabolical hallmarks of the BJP and Modi government when exposed and caught lying on issues of national security and territorial integrity," the opposition party's chief spokesperson, Randeep Singh Surjewala, said in a statement.

He said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J.P. Nadda and the Narendra Modi government keep referring to a 2005 grant of Rs 1.45 crore received by the RGF from the Embassy of China for the purpose of a welfare programme for differently-abled people and research on Sino-India relationships.

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