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Ladakh face-off | BJP attacks Congress over Chinese funds

Ravi Shankar Prasad   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

The BJP on Thursday launched an attack on the Congress party over the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation having received funds from the Chinese embassy in New Delhi and questioned whether it was a “bribe” for lobbying for a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and China.

The BJP fielded Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to take on the Congress, with party president J.P. Nadda also raising the issue in his virtual rally for party workers in Madhya Pradesh.

Read | Why does the Emergency mindset remain in Congress, asks Amit Shah

Mr. Prasad termed the Foundation as “nothing but an extension of the Congress Party” and said the RGF in 2009-11 had advocated an FTA between India and China, terming it “feasible, desirable and mutually beneficial”.

India has been struggling to redress the trade deficit with China for many years and the NDA government under Prime Minister Modi has refused to join multi-lateral trade groups like Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

‘Bribe for lobbying’

“Was this part of a Congress party strategy for lobbying for an FTA for which Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received a bribe from the Chinese embassy and India’s trade deficit with China jumped 33 times during Congress-led UPA government,” Mr. Prasad asked.

Suspecting the donation to be a violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) of 1976, Mr. Prasad said any educational or cultural organisation must intimate the government before taking donation.

Mr. Prasad asked if the Foundation had informed the then UPA government about this.

Turning his guns on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Mr. Prasad said that in 2008, the Congress had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Communist Party of China. “The party has not yet explained what was the compelling need for party-to-party relationship,” said Mr. Prasad.

The Congress party, he said, must explain this and also how many such MoUs it has signed with other political parties.


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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 2:10:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajiv-gandhi-foundation-got-funds-from-china-bjp/article31916374.ece

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