The BJP on Saturday continued its attack on the Congress and the Gandhi family over the alleged links between the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and China, with party president J.P. Nadda saying they had sacrificed the national interest by accepting donations from the foreign power.
Mr. Nadda posed 10 questions to Congress president Sonia Gandhi about the working of the foundation, at a press conference here. “The Gandhi family should answer for their sins,” he said.
Mr. Nadda had earlier this week raised the issue of the RGF accepting donations from the Chinese embassy, to which former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram responded by asking would Prime Minister Narendra Modi assure the country that China would vacate the Indian territory if the RGF returned the ₹20-lakh donation.
Referring to Mr. Chidambaram’s tweet, Mr. Nadda said it was “an acceptance that RGF took the funds against the interest of the country”.
He said China had donated to the Foundation every year from 2005 to 2009 and donations from the “tax haven” of Luxembourg were made from 2006 to 2009.
“Why did the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, headed by Sonia Gandhi, accept money from the Chinese government and Chinese embassy? Isn’t it a shame, sacrificing national interest by accepting money from foreign powers for personal trusts?” he asked.
He raised concerns over the UPA government’s ‘haste’ with regard to the East Asia Free Trade Agreement.
“India’s trade deficit with China was allowed to increase from an almost negligible $1.1 billion in 2003-2004 to as much as $36.2 billion in 2013-2014. Why did the Congress weaken the economic position? Was this the quid pro quo for accepting Chinese money by the Foundation?”
He alleged that funds had been ‘diverted’ from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to the RGF from 2005 to 2008 and the company founded by Congress leader Rameshwar Thakur had been appointed the auditor of the PMNRF.
Mr. Nadda also hit out at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying he had allocated ₹100 crore to the private charitable trust when he was Finance Minister in 1991.
“Since then it has regularly received donations from the government of India Ministries. Yet, the RGF refuses to be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General or even come under the Right to Information Act. Why? What does Ms. Gandhi have to hide? What does Dr. Manmohan Singh have to say on this monumental loot and organised plunder?”
Mr. Nadda alleged that fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi had donated to the RGF and that Ms. Gandhi should explain the link.