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Congress-Beijing Link Emerges After MOU

NEW DELHI:A link has been found between the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and a Chinese lobbying group in 2004. As per the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation’s official website, in the year 2004-2005 for the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary studies there is a mention of the ‘China Association for Internationally friendly contact’ – which is a lobby group for the Communist Party of China. The association is administered by both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Civil Affairs in China, as per its website and ‘establish friendly ties with foreign government agencies, political parties, and prominent political and military figures’. 
 Addressing the BJP’s Jan Samvad rally in Bhopal through a video link on Thursday, Nadda accused, “I was shocked and surprised to know that the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Embassy gave $300,000 to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) in 2005-06”. A BJP statement later quoted Nadda as saying at the rally that the Chinese embassy gave Rs 90 lakh to the RGF. The Rajiv Gandhi foundation is a Delhi-based RGF was set up on June 21, 1991, and is currently chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and works in five key areas — literacy, promotion of science & technology, empowerment of the underprivileged and handicapped, promotion of excellence in aviation.

While Congress has repeatedly slammed PM Modi for ‘denying Chinese intrusions in Ladakh’, the party is already under scanner for the MoU signed by then Congress VP Rahul Gandhi and Wang Jiarui, then-Minister of the International Department of Central Committee of the CPC in the presence of then-Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Sonia Gandhi in 2008. The memorandum was signed to “facilitate top-level diplomatic engagement” between the two parties and consult each other over key international and regional issues. This political blame game started after 20 Indian soldiers were martyred in a face-off with Chinese Army at Galwan area of the LAC.  
 The memorandum of understanding (MoU) entered into between the Congress party and the Communist Party of China in 2008 raises concerns regarding national security and should be investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a petition filed before the Supreme Court on Wednesday prayed.

The petitioners, Shahshak Shekhar Jha, a Delhi based advocate and Savio Rodrigues, the editor of Goa based online news portal, Goa Chronicle alleged that despite India having ‘hostile’ relations with China, the Congress party had signed the MoU when it was leading a coalition government at the centre and it also failed to disclose the facts and details of the agreement to the public.

“Petitioner No. 2 (Savio Rodrigues) had demanded the respondents to make the said MoU public, however, no heed was shown in that respect which shows the malafide intention of the Respondents (Congress party and its leaders)”, the petition stated.

Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have also been made party to the case apart from the Congress party.

“Issue an order directing NIA to investigate the said agreement under UAPA”, it was prayed by the petitioners.

The UAPA is a law aimed at punishing those involved in terrorist activities and activities intended to bring about secession of any part of the country from the union of India.

In the alternative, Jha and Rodrigues sought a court-monitored probe by CBI.

After the recent faceoff between Indian and Chinese armies at Ladakh, the Congress party has stepped up its attack on the Narendra Modi government alleging it failed on diplomatic and military fronts.

The ruling BJP, on the other hand, countered by referring to the MoU signed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on behalf of the Congress party with the Chinese Communist Party. The MoU was signed at Beijing in the presence of Sonia Gandhi who was then the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) headed by the Congress.

Placing reliance on media reports, the petitioners submitted that at least 600 incursions happened from Chinese side into Indian territory between 2008 and 2013.

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