Salil Shetty, VP of Soros’ Open Society Foundation, walked with RaGa during BJY

| Updated: 17 February, 2023 7:34 pm IST

Even as the Congress was quick to distance itself from billionaire George Soros’ unsolicited remarks exposing his intentions of destabilizing the Narendra Modi government, a photo has emerged of Salil Shetty, Global Vice President of Open Society Foundation marching with Rahul Gandhi during Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Soros’ Open Society Foundation is known to meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign nations by funding rogue elements within democratic countries.

During peak covid when medical facilities even in the developed world were collapsing, Shetty went on international news channels like CNN to single out India’s failures. India gradually was not only able to tame covid crisis over a period of time, but also successfully ran the largest vaccination drive in the world, with home-grown jabs. “There are two viruses in this country – one is a coronavirus and the other is an anti-democracy virus. There is vaccine only for one,” said Shetty in a condescending tone on CNN.

There is also online proof to make the case that during the last few years, a majority of the protests that created a law and order situation in India either saw the participation of the Foundation or got funding from it. A video of Shetty lashing out at the government during the anti-NRC and anti-CAA movement is also doing the rounds.

It is also understood that Soros’ Open Society Foundation has funded at least one supporter of anti-farm laws protest at the Singhu border that saw the presence of Khalistani elements in the ranks of the regular protesters.

Earlier in the day Jairam Ramesh, distancing Congress from the Soros fiasco tweeted, “Whether the PM-linked Adani scam sparks a democratic revival in India depends entirely on the Congress, Opposition parties, and our electoral process,” tweeted Ramesh, who serves as Congress general Secretary (communication in-charge). “It has nothing to do with George Soros. Our Nehruvian legacy ensures people like Soros cannot determine our electoral outcomes.”

 

However, his party colleague Praveen Chakravarty, who was appointed as the Chairman of the party’s Data analytics department by Rahul Gandhi was one of the first to share the article on Twitter and endorse what Soros said at a conference in Munich.

In 2009, when Sashi Tharoor was the External Affairs Minister, he held parleys with “old friend” Soros and praised his interest in India. “Met old friend George Soros. Upbeat about India and curious about our neighborhood. He is far more than an investor: a concerned world citizen,” Tharoor had tweeted back then.

The Open Society Foundation, established by George Soros, is one of the world’s largest private funders of groups that purportedly support human rights, justice, and accountable government—with an annual budget in 2020 of over $1 billion.

Interestingly, former Congress PM Manmohan Singh’s daughter Amrit Singh is also a part of the Foundation. She is a human rights lawyer there.

Open Society began working in India in 1999, initially offering scholarships and fellowships for students to pursue studies and research at Indian institutions.

In 2014, the year in which BJP won a decisive mandate riding on the peak Modi wave, the Foundation launched an India-specific grant-making program, supporting local organizations that work in three areas: “extending access to medicine; promoting justice system reforms; and strengthening and establishing rights, public services, and community living for people with psychosocial disabilities. Since mid-2016, our grant-making in India has been constrained by government restrictions on our funding for local NGOs,” as per its website.

A large chunk of the foundation’s funds goes into sponsoring activities that promote “democratic practice”.

In his speech ahead of the Munich security conference on Thursday, Soros predicted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “stranglehold over the Indian federal will weaken” because of his alleged closeness to Adani, who has been accused by short-seller Hindenburg of stock manipulation.

Soros, in a viral clip, is heard saying that PM Narendra Modi is a “close ally” of Adani Group founder-chairman Gautam Adani and that the allegations of stock manipulation will “significantly weaken Modi’s stranglehold over India’s federal government.”

“Modi and business tycoon Adani are close allies. Adani enterprises tried to raise funds in the stock market but failed. Adani is accused of stock manipulation and his stocks have collapsed like a house of cards.”

“This will significantly weaken Modi’s stranglehold on India’s federal government and open the door for much-needed institution reform.”

He said with Modi being weakened, democracy will be revived in India. “I may be naive but I expect democratic revival in India,” he said.

He went on to comment on how the Prime Minister needs to speak up in Parliament. “Modi is silent on the subject. But he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in the Parliament.”

The Opposition led by Congress has been demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak up about the Adani issue in the Parliament – a demand that has been largely ignored by the ruling government.

His statement has invited a sharp reaction from the ruling BJP, who have termed Soros’ unsolicited comments as an attack on Indian sovereignty.

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