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Govt to probe violations by Sonia Gandhi headed Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and others, Home Ministry sets up committee

The committee will coordinate probe into violation of various legal provisions of PMLA, Income Tax Act, FCRA etc by these foundations. Special Director of Enforcement Directorate will head the committee.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has set up an inter-ministerial committee to probe various violations by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust & Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

The committee will coordinate probe into violation of various legal provisions of PMLA, Income Tax Act, FCRA etc by these foundations. Special Director of Enforcement Directorate will head the committee.

Sonia Gandhi-controlled Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received funds from China

Recently, shocking details had emerged wherein it was revealed how Sonia Gandhi-controlled Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had received funds from the Chinese government during the UPA era under the garb of charities.

Last month we had reported how the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had received funds from not just the Embassy of China but also the Government of China not once but at least thrice between 2005 and 2009. One donation amounted to Rs 10 lakhs and another one amounted to Rs 90 lakhs was funded by the Chinese to the Sonia-Gandhi controlled Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

The Annual Statements of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had also revealed a far more sinister agenda as it turned out, the Chinese government had not only donated to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in the year 2006 but subsequent years as well. 

It is important to note that Sonia Gandhi is the Chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. Since the year 2005, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were the trustees.

The significant disclosure had come at a time when the Congress party was caught over its secret deals with the Communist Party of China (CPC) back in 2008. There have been serious allegations against the Congress party and its interim chief Sonia Gandhi over receiving funds from not only China but also for diverting public money for her private foundation.

Not Just China: RGF received funds from other foreign governments too

Over the years, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation has also received donations from the Governments of Ireland, Luxembourg and the European Union as well. 

Apart from that, the RGF has also received donations from numerous other dubious sources. One of the sources it received a lot of funds from is the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung. FNS is a liberal organisation based in Germany that is closely associated with the liberal political establishment in the country and is a major donor for the RGF.

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received funds from PMNRF

Addition to the funds from China, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had re-routed funds within the country, by deviating tax payers money from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

In the year 2005-2006, the Annual Report makes a disclosure that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received a donation from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. The same disclosure is also made in the 2006-2007 report. Again in 2007-2008, the Foundation for a ‘donation’ from the PMNRF.

Though the amount of such donation is not clear yet, it is a fact that a donation was indeed made.

The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was established in the year 1948. Initially, the purpose of the fund was to provide assistance to displaced people from Pakistan during and right after the partition of India.

The resources of the PMNRF are now utilized primarily to render immediate relief to families of those killed in natural calamities like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, etc. and to the victims of the major accidents and riots.

Ministries of Indian Government donated to RGF during UPA rule

In addition to such organisations, the RGF has also received huge donations from multiple government institutions. The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is one of them but their annual reports reveal that RGF received funds from multiple government ministries when the UPA was in power.

The Ministries who were partners with RGF and donated to them include the Ministries of Environment and Forest, Health and Family Welfare, Small Scale Industries and even the Ministry of Home Affairs. All of this is greatly disturbing.

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received funds from Mehul Choksi

It was also it has later revealed that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi too had made undisclosed donations to the Sonia Gandhi-led Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in 2014-15.

The Annual Reports of the the Rajiv Gandhi foundation received funds from an organisation named Naviraj Estates Private Limited. Mehul Choksi is one of the directors of this company. However, it is not yet clear how much fund did Rajiv Gandhi Foundation receive from Mehul Choksi.

Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are economic fugitives, who have fled the country in 2018 after Rs 14,000-crore PNB fraud surfaced. Choksi got the citizenship of Antigua after fleeing from the country after he was accused in the multi-crore PNB scam.

The Congress party’s foundation received funds from partners of Huawei

Further, the annual report of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation for the year 2018-19 had disclosed that it had also received funds from Bharti Foundation. The Bharti Foundation was one of the partners with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, recognised widely as an extended arm of the Chinese state.

The annual report states that income for the RGF for the year 2018-19 from grants and donations was Rs.95,91,766 rupees.

The US intelligence officials have been raising concerns for years about the potential for Huawei to use its network access to spy, or worse, to shut down communications in the event of a cyberwar. Despite the threat posed by Huawei, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had managed to receive funds from Huawei’s partners as late as 2018-19.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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