Headlines July 9, 2020
3 Gandhi family trusts to be investigated for financial misdeeds
Three trusts linked to the Gandhi family will be investigated for alleged financial wrongdoings. This was announced by the government on Wednesday. The Home Ministry has formed an inter-ministerial committee to look into investigations into alleged violation of income tax and foreign donation rules by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.
The investigations will focus on the alleged violation of laws like the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Income Tax Act, Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act by the Gandhi family-run trusts, said a Home Ministry tweet. The special director of the Enforcement Directorate will head the committee.
The RGF and RGCT are headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The Congress says all accounts are audited and has denied any wrongdoing. It says the investigation is political revenge like the move to cancel Priyanka Gandhi Vadra‘s government bungalow.
The Centre says this is in line with the Modi government’s move to maintain transparency.
The government probe into RGF transactions is a ‘natural outcome’ of information brought out in the public domain. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is committed to transparency. – Bharatiya Janata Party
The BJP has accused the Congress of open fraud and said that when it was in power money from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) was directed to the RGF. “PMNRF, meant to help people in distress, was donating money to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in UPA years. Who sat on the PMNRF board? Smt. Sonia Gandhi Who chairs RGF? Smt. Sonia Gandhi. Totally reprehensible, disregarding ethics, processes and not bothering about transparency,” said BJP president JP Nadda.
The ruling party also alleged that the foundation had received funds from the Chinese embassy in 2005. “Did the then UPA government take a bribe from the Chinese? Is it not true that after taking this donation, the foundation recommended a free trade agreement with China, which was heavily tilted in favour of the Chinese,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned.
The Congress has rubbished the allegations, calling them an attempt at diverting focus from the government’s handling of the China crisis.
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