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BJP chief Nadda specialises in speaking half-truths, says Chidambaram

Congress leader P. Chidambaram. File photo

Congress leader P. Chidambaram. File photo   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Former Finance Minister hits back at BJP chief over RGF getting money from PMNRF

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday hit back at the BJP and accused its president J.P. Nadda of ‘specialising’ in speaking half-truths regarding Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) receiving money from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for tsunami relief work.

Late on Friday, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala issued a detailed statement to rebut the BJP’s claims and asserted that the PMNRF’S grant of ₹20 lakh to RGF was for tsunami relief work.

Earlier in the day, the BJP chief had targeted Congress president Sonia Gandhi as the head of RGF and called PMNRF’s grant to a ‘family run foundation as a fraud’.

“BJP President Mr. Nadda specialises in speaking half-truths. My colleague Mr. Randeep Surjewala exposed his half truths yesterday. Why is the BJP hiding the fact that the ₹20 lakhs received by RGF from PM National Relief Fund in 2005 was for tsunami relief work in Andaman & Nicobar? And that every rupee was spent for the purpose and accounted for?” asked Mr. Chidambaram on Twitter.

“Suppose RGF returns the ₹20 lakh, will PM Modi assure the country that China will vacate its transgression and restore status quo ante? Mr. Nadda, come to terms with reality, don’t live in the past that is distorted by your half-truths. Please answer our questions on Chinese intrusion into Indian territory,” added Mr. Chidambaram.

In the statement, Mr. Surjewala called the allegations regarding grants from the PMNR a manufactured one and an attempt at ‘diversion and distraction’ from Chinese incursions through disinformation.

“Pursuant to the unprecedented Tsunami in the last week of 2004, RGF received a modest amount of ₹20 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund in the Financial Year 2005 which was duly utilised to undertake relief activities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” Mr. Surjewala said.

Referring to the grant of ₹1.45 crore received from the Embassy of China, the Congress leader said it was for disabled persons welfare programme and research on Sino-India relationships.

“This grant was used for the purposes specified. RGF accounts were duly audited and statutory returns were filed under Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) to the Government of India. This grant has been duly reflected in all filings to the income tax and the Home Ministry and no authority has ever found any wrongdoing of any nature,” said Mr. Surjewala.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 4:29:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-chief-nadda-specialises-in-speaking-half-truths-says-chidambaram/article31929901.ece

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