NEW DELHI: BJP on Thursday came out with documents showing that the Chinese embassy in India had made a Rs 90 lakh contribution to the
Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
(RGF) and pointed out that the Congress think-tank had strongly recommended a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and China.
BJP also released a list of several PSUs and ministries which had donated to RGF when UPA was in office. The PSUs included SAIL, GAIL, LIC, ONGC and SBI, besides several ministries and even
the PM Relief Fund
The chairperson of RGF is Congress president Sonia Gandhi and its board has, among others, former PM Manmohan Singh,
, P Chidambaram and Priyanka Gandhi. Sources said it was surprising that the PM Relief Fund, meant for humanitarian and relief aid, was used to fund RGF.
Ravi Shankar Prasad
said, “Rajiv Gandhi Foundation’s report of 2009-11 mentions that the proposed FTA between India and China will be feasible, desirable and mutually beneficial and should be comprehensive with free flow of good services, investment and capital.”
Referring to the donation from the Chinese embassy, he asked, “We want to know why this donation was taken?” BJP’s social media head
said, “This donation started showing results soon after. RGF did not do one but several studies on how an FTA between India and China was desirable and required.”
Malviya asked if there was some connection between the donation to RGF, the Congress think-tank lobbying for an FTA with China, and the government allowing the trade deficit to rise 33 times from $1.1 billion in 2003-04 to $36.2 billion in 2013-14. Congress dismissed the claims.