The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday launched a sharp attack on the Opposition Congress, stating that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had received funds from dubious sources, including absconding businessman Mehul Choksi, controversial preacher Zakir Naik, Financial Technologies (India) Limited’s Jignesh Shah, and Yes Bank’s Rana Kapoor, who is currently in the dock .
At a press conference in New Delhi, party spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the RGF had received amounts varying between ₹10 lakh (from two companies associated with Mr. Choksi) to ₹9 lakh (from Yes Bank and Kapoor), and around ₹50 lakh from Mr. Naik from an account that was under the scanner under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Mr. Shah’s company, which is connected to the National Spot Exchange Limited scam, also donated ₹50 lakh.
“The donations to the RGF were no coincidence, but a conspiracy. The first revelation is Mehul Choksi, who had donated to the RGF and is involved in the Punjab National Bank scam,” said Mr. Patra.
Mr. Patra said Mr. Choksi’s donations came from two companies — Navtan Estates, a paper manufacturing company that had done no business between 2012-13 and 2013-14 but received ₹47.28 crore, and a second chunk of over ₹24 lakh from Geetanjali Gems. A sum of ₹10 lakh from Navtan Estates was donated to RGF in 2013-14.
The government has set up an inter-ministerial group to go into the alleged violations in donations received by the RGF.