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BJP Misleading Country by Raising Issue of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Funding, Says Congress

File photo of Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

File photo of Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the RGF did not receive any direct funding from fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, as alleged by some.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: June 27, 2020, 11:38 PM IST
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Hitting back at the BJP, the Congress accused the president of the saffron party, JP Nadda, of "misleading" the country by raising the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) issue and said he has lost his political balance in his flailing attempts at distraction and diversion from the issues of national security and territorial integrity.

Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the RGF did not receive any direct funding from fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi, as alleged by some.

"The wild and insidious hatred of the BJP vis-a-vis the Indian National Congress unfolds every day in an embarrassing and uglier fashion. Sadly, BJP president JP Nadda has lost his political balance in his flailing attempts at distraction and diversion from the issues of national security and territorial integrity," he said in a statement.

Surjewala instead accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of receiving foreign funding and posed several questions to Nadda. He said the BJP chief has made it his "favourite pastime to mislead the country by making sensational claims".

"We reiterate that RGF had received a modest amount of Rs 20 lakh only from PMNRF in financial year 2005-06, which was duly utilised for undertaking relief activities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. No other amount was received from PMNRF," the Congress leader said.

He also said "no amount has been received as donation from Mehul Choksi personally as has been falsely alleged. Nor has any loan ever been given by RGF to him".

Surjewala said the RGF's records reflect receipt of a modest donation of Rs 10 lakh from Naviraj Estates Private Limited (in 2013), a company with Choksi as one of the directors.

"Let the BJP and Modi government not bury their abject failures in defending India's territorial integrity in the din of concocted and wretched allegations repeated in a similar fashion for three days continuously. We urge the BJP president and the Modi government to rise from their fears, defend the nation and support our armed forces. This is the only true patriotism," he said.

"Will the BJP, like the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation has done, ask the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to make public the list of all its donors and the amounts received, including from all foreign sources including individuals, entities, organisations and governments?" Surjewala asked, wondering whether the ruling party will ask the Vivekananda Foundation and the India Foundation to make public the lists of their donors, including the international ones.

"Will the BJP declare the names of the donors from whom it has received thousands of crores in donations through electoral bonds? Will the BJP disclose the source of funding, amounts received, names of donors (including those of Chinese origin) for 'Overseas Friends of BJP' (OF-BJP)? Has the BJP/RSS received funding from international foundations, funds, entities and organisations? If yes, how much amount has been received by the BJP-RSS over the last six years from international funding and donors?" the Congress leader asked.

He said the BJP leadership is scared of questions being asked on its Chinese connections, its links to the China Association for International Friendly Contact (CAIFC) and its persistent interactions with the Communist Party of China (CCP), the ruling party in the neighbouring country.

"What is the connection of the BJP to the Communist Party of China (CCP)? What is the historical relationship between BJP and CCP spoken about by the then BJP president Rajnath Singh during the visit of a CCP delegation on January 30, 2007 and reiterated by him during the meeting with members of politburo of the CCP on October 17, 2008?" Surjewala asked.

He said all this is being done so that his party and the fellow countrymen stop questioning the Narendra Modi government on the Chinese transgressions on Indian soil.

"Every day a new conspiracy is crafted by the delusional BJP leadership so as to spread disinformation, hysteria and commotion to bury the apparent incompetence and complete failure of the Modi government in defending our borders," the Congress leader said.

Intensifying his attack on the Congress, Nadda on Saturday posed 10 questions to the opposition party, including about RGF's alleged links to China, and said the saffron party will leave no stone unturned in "exposing double-faced politicians".

"I want to tell Sonia Gandhi that under the garb of China and the COVID-19 crisis, one should not shy away from answering the questions the nation wants to know.... It is a shame. It is a sacrifice of national interest by accepting money from foreign powers in personal trusts," Nadda told reporters while attacking the Congress president.

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