Breaking its silence on the BJP’s allegation that the Sonia Gandhi-headed Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received donation from China and the Chinese embassy in 2005-06 to carry out studies that were not in national interest, the Congress on Friday said the foundation had received a grant of Rs 1.45 crore from the Chinese embassy for disabled persons welfare programme and research on China-India relationships.
“The BJP president and the Modi government keep referring to a 2005 grant of Rs 1.45 crore received from the Embassy of China to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation for the purpose (i) Disabled Persons Welfare Programme; and (ii) Research on Sino-India relationships. This grant was used for the purposes specified,” Congress communication department in charge Randeep Surjewala said in a statement.
He said the accounts of the foundation 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,” he said.
Surjewala said the RGF also received a “modest amount” of Rs 20 lakh from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund in the financial year 2005. The fund, he said, was given after the 2004 tsunami and was “duly utilised to undertake relief activities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands”.
“We want to tell Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and BJP president (J P) Nadda that their total failure to protect national security and territorial integrity of India cannot be washed away in the cacophony of manufactured and desperate allegations vis-à-vis grants received by the RGF which has been duly audited and reported both to the Income Tax as also to the Home Ministry,” Surjewala said.
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