Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said Chinese embassy gave money to RGF foundation “for study purposes on how to improve economic ties and many foundations across the world take money for the same”.
With Union Home Minister Amit Shah lambasting the Opposition for disrupting Question Hour in the Parliament today to avoid discussion on the issue of unlawful Chinese funding given to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), the Congress hit back questioning RSS’s relations with the Communist Party of China.
Shah on Monday sought to turn the tables on the Congress for its demand for discussion on the India-China border issue.
Addressing a press conference here at the party headquarters, Congress leader Pawan Khera hit out at the BJP and said, “Today Amit Shah made some allegations against Congress. The BJP banned 59 Chinese apps. One of them is UC Web mobile. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, BJP took help from UC Web app whereas in 2017 the BJP has alleged the same company of stealing and selling the data of Indians.”
Khera didn’t mince words and said that another Chinese company Shareit was also banned, alleging that it was a danger to sovereignty of the country. “But the same company has been partnered with the BJP to affect elections,” the Congress spokesperson alleged.
Khera said that the accounts of RGF are in public domain “and the Congress has nothing to hide”.
“But what is the relation of the RSS with the Communist Party of China? The leaders of the BJP legislators used to go to learn lessons from a school run by Communist Party of China. There is a foundation in which the son of the External Affairs Minister works. He is in a senior post and the Chinese embassy has given that foundation some money since 2016. But we never alleged the same. If the External Affairs Minister’s son is working in that foundation, is it a reason that it is receiving money from the Chinese Embassy? What is quid pro quo?” Khera asked.
He further said that the money paid to RGF foundation “was for study purposes on how to improve economic ties and many foundations across the world take money for the same”.
“What is the relation of India Foundation and Vivekananda Foundation with China that should also be made by the Home Minister. He should take permission from (NSA Ajit) Doval to reveal its (Vivekananda Foundation) relation with China.”
Citing other incidents, Khera said that 14 legislators of the BJP went to meet the leaders of Communist Party of China.
“It was decided that they (BJP and Communist Party of China) are two biggest political parties and they should join hands to make a global alliance. We didn’t ask what MoU you signed. We need to understand what Communist Party of China teaches BJP,” the Congress leader alleged.
Mounting pressure on the PM Cares Fund, whose funding has been kept under the wraps, Khera said, “The PM Cares fund should be made public. Which companies of China paid money into its (PM Cares) account.”
The Congress leader then also accused the BJP of giving the contract of installing smart meters in Jammu and Kashmir to another China based company named Dongfang.
He said that the company was blacklisted by the UK, US and many other European countries, while the same company was given contract to install smart meters in a border state.
“It means that the entire data of Kashmir has been shared with China. The World Bank blacklisted it, even many countries banned it, while Dongfang has been given a contract for a border state on India,” he pointed out.
The Congress leader then also questioned the Rs 43,000 crore MoU signed with Chinese companies in Gujarat’s Dhaulera.
He said that Global Times of China in its report said that if Modi loses in Gujarat, then its contract would be in danger.
“Was June 19, 2020 statement of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji giving clean chit to China was for the same reason. Is the reason for his silence hidden in Dhaulera, or Dongfang or UC Web Mobile or Shareit? Their elections depend on it, but we are worried about the sovereignty of India,” he said, slamming the BJP for its ties with the Chinese companies.
Khera also highlights how Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 accepted Atal Bihari Vajpayee request to hold debate in Parliament over war with China.
“Whereas this (BJP) government, when questioned, doubts your intentions. Arunachal Pradesh was given statehood by Congress. We gave a warning to the government that China is trying to change the name of Arunachal Pradesh and even their own MP warned the government about China trying to acquire our land. Why is it that you are afraid of China and we will ask the same?” Khera added
His remarks came after Shah told media that the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) registration of the RGF was cancelled as it allegedly got Rs 1.35 crore from the Chinese embassy and Rs 50 lakh from Zakir Naik, the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), which was banned by the government.
“I saw the question list for Lok Sabha and I understand Congress’ anxiety. I would have answered the question in Lok Sabha if the House was allowed to function,” he said.
Shah alleged the Congress cited the Tawang clash to disrupt the House proceedings but the actual reason was that it did not want to hear facts about the RGF during the question hour.
The Home Minister also alleged that the Congress claimed that while the money it received from the Chinese embassy was for undertaking research on India-China relations, the country wanted to know whether the study covered the issue of Indian land lost to China during the 1962 war.
In October, the Ministry of Home Affairs had cancelled the licences given to RGF and the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT), both headed by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, accusing it of violating laws.
Officials said the action by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) came following an investigation by an inter-ministerial committee formed in 2020.