Last Updated:

Congress Admits Diversion Of PM Relief Fund To RGF; Accuses BJP Of Speaking 'half-truths'

Alleging BJP of speaking half-truths, Congress leader P Chidambaram has admitted that funds from PM National Relief Fund were diverted to Congress-backed RGF

Chidambaram

Even as senior Congress leader P Chidambaram slammed BJP chief JP Nadda for alleging a 'Rajiv Gandhi Foundation scam', he has admitted that funds from PM National Relief Fund were diverted to Congress-backed RGF. Taking to Twitter, Chidambaram has said that Rs 20 lakhs received by RGF from the PM National Relief Fund in 2005 was utilised in tsunami relief work in Andaman & Nicobar.

He accused the BJP chief of revealing the half-truths. He then goes on to ask the connection between 'RGF 15 years ago' and 'China’s intrusion into Indian territory in 2020 under the watch of the Modi government'. The former Finance Minister who is out on bail in the INX Media case also sayd that if RGF returns the Rs 20 lakh, will PM Modi assure the country that China will vacate its transgression and restore status quo ante?

READ | Pakistan to reopen Kartarpur Sahib Corridor with India amid surge in COVID cases

Congress faces serious accusations

The political blame game between BJP and Congress commenced after 20 Indian Army personnel were martyred in a violent clash with Chinese troops at the LAC on June 15. While the latter questioned the Centre's handling of the crisis, BJP accused the Congress leadership of having close ties with China. 

BJP raised that Congress-backed RGF had received a donation of Rs.90 lakh from the Chinese Embassy in India in 2006-07. While Congress president Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of the trust, senior party leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, Dr.Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra serve as trustees.

READ | Coronavirus Live Updates

BJP president JP Nadda shared documents to show that the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund money had been donated to the RGF. Terming this as a "brazen fraud", Nadda contended that one family's hunger for wealth had cost India immensely. While the Congress party has admitted that an MoU was signed with CPC, it is yet to respond on the allegations pertaining to the controversial donations to the RGF. 

The MoU signed between former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Wang Jiarui, Minister of the International Department of Central Committee of the CPC on August 7, 2008, has also come in for criticism. The agreement reportedly pertained to exchanging high-level information and cooperation between Congress and the CPC besides providing the two parties with the "opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments”.

READ | Shiv Sena Defends Congress On 'RGF Scam' Allegation, Asks 'will It Stop Chinese Intrusion'

Anand Sharma hits outs at BJP

After days of silence on the 2008 MoU with China's ruling Communist Party, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Thursday admitted that Rahul Gandhi as then-Congress General Secretary signed the youth delegations exchange with a senior Chinese Minister and hit out at the BJP's "malicious disinformation campaign" against the grand old party.

Taking to Twitter, the Rajya Sabha MP claimed that all information regarding the 2008 MoU is in the public domain and said party to party delegations exchange is normal between political parties. "Congress has leadership delegations exchange with a large number of major political parties across the world. What is wrong?" said Anand Sharma.

He further said that Congress led India's freedom movement and is one of the oldest political parties in the world and asserted that questioning the party's patriotism (by the BJP) is "outrageous".

READ | Rahul Gandhi accuses Modi govt of 'unlocking' the COVID pandemic, petrol-diesel prices

First Published: