Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi would assure the country that China would vacate Indian territory and restore status quo ante at the border, if the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation returned Rs 20 lakh it had taken as donation earlier.
Taking on BJP president J P Nadda on the charges made against the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), Chidambaram accused him of speaking “half-truths” and asked him to “come to terms with reality” and not live in the past.
He also asked the BJP president to answer the questions raised by the Congress on the Chinese intrusion into the Indian territory.
“Suppose RGF returns the Rs 20 lakh, will PM Modi assure the country that China will vacate its transgression and restore status quo ante,” he asked on Twitter.
“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,” Chidambaram said in another tweet.
Nadda had alleged that the Prime Minister”s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) had donated money to the “family-run” RGF when the Congress-led UPA was in power, claiming that it was a “brazen fraud” and big betrayal of the people of the country.
The BJP chief had targeted the Congress and the Gandhi family on Thursday for the RGF allegedly accepting donations from the Chinese embassy.
Chidambaram also shared two satellite images of May and June of the Galwan Valley showing the build-up of troops and structures along the river-bed.
“Spot the differences between May 22 and June 22, 2020 on the INDIA-CHINA border,” he said.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had late on Friday night come out with a statement, saying the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) issue raised by the BJP government was a “manufactured charge” and “diversionary tactic” to deflect attention from the LAC crisis.
He said the money the NGO received from China was used for the welfare of differently-abled people and research on the Sino-India relations.
“Diversion, disinformation and distraction are the diabolical hallmarks of the BJP and the Modi government when exposed and caught lying on issues of national security and territorial integrity,” Surjewala had said.
He said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nadda and the Modi government keep referring to a 2005 grant of Rs 1.45 crore received by the RGF from the Embassy of China for the purpose of a welfare programme for differently-abled people and research on Sino-India relationships.
“This grant was used for the purposes specified. RGF accounts were duly audited and statutory returns filed under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) to the government of India. This grant has been duly reflected in all filings to the Income-Tax department and home ministry and no authority has ever found any wrongdoing of any nature,” Surjewala said.
He also said pursuant to the unprecedented tsunami in the last week of 2004, the foundation received a “modest” amount of Rs 20 lakh from the PMNRF in financial year 2005, which was duly utilised to undertake relief activities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.