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FCRA registration of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation cancelled after it received funds from Chinese embassy: Shah


NEW DELHI: No one can capture an inch of Indian land till the Narendra Modi government is in power, Home Minister Amit Shah said Tuesday and claimed the actual reason behind the Congress disrupting Lok Sabha proceedings was not the clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers but a question on the cancellation of FCRA registration of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

Shah said if the Question Hour, which was a washout following the opposition’s protest, had continued, then he would have told the House that the RGF’s Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) registration was cancelled as it got Rs 1.35 crore from the Chinese embassy for research related to development of the Sino-India relationship while its registration is for social work.

In a swipe at the Congress, Shah said since the RGF might already have conducted the research, have it included the issue of the occupation of thousands of hectares of Indian land by China in 1962? “If research is conducted on this subject then what is the outcome of it,” he told reporters.

Seeking to turn the tables on the Congress as the opposition party has been targeting the Modi government over its handling of the border dispute with China, the home minister claimed India lost its membership of the United Nations Security Council because of the personal relationship its leaders had with foreign leaders.

He asked whether the party also researched issues like Jawaharlal Nehru “sacrificing” India’s seat in the United Nations Security Council, denial of visa by China to the then Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu and issuing of staple visa to residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

He also said the RGF headed by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi received Rs 50 lakh from Zakir Naik, founder of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), which was banned by the government for its alleged involvement in terrorism.

On the border issue, the minister made it clear that the “BJP government will not allow any incursion on land. We will not leave an inch of land. The bravery shown by soldiers is appreciable, they have saved our land”.

Recalling that China had raised questions about then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh on October 13, 2009, he asked if the party carried research on the issue.

“Between 2005 and 2007, the RGF had received Rs 1.35 crore from the Chinese embassy. After following due diligence, the home ministry cancelled the FCRA registration of the RGF,” he said.

According to law, any NGO which intends to receive foreign funding must register itself under the FCRA.

Shah also alleged that when the Indian soldiers were fighting the Chinese PLA at Galwan, someone from the Congress was throwing a dinner for an official of the Chinese embassy and asked why work on vital infrastructure projects was stalled in 2012 following a threat from China.

The FCRA registration of the RGF and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) were cancelled in October last after an investigation carried out by an inter-ministerial committee formed by the home ministry in 2020.

The trustees of the RGF are former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Suman Dubey and Ashok Ganguly.

The trustees of the RGCT are Rahul Gandhi, Ashok Ganguly, Bansi Mehta and Deep Joshi.

Set up in 1991, the RGF worked on a number of critical issues, including health, science and technology, women and children and disability support, till 2009. It also worked in the education sector, according to its website.

The RGCT was established in 2002 to address the development needs of the underprivileged people, especially the rural poor. (PTI)

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