Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received 'bribe' from China, campaigned for FTA: Prasad hits out at Congress

ANI | Updated: Jun 25, 2020 22:41 IST

New Delhi [India], June 25 (ANI): Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday alleged that Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received "a bribe" from the Chinese embassy and it "campaigned" for the free trade agreement between Indian and China.
The minister told reporters here that the trade deficit between India and China increased by 33 per cent during the UPA government and there was "lobbying" by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
He termed the foundation an extension of Congress.
"In 2008, the Congress entered into an MoU with the Communist Party of China. The MoU was signed by Rahul Gandhi himself and Soniaji and the current President of China Xi Jinping stood behind. The Congress party has not yet explained what was a compelling need to have a party to party relationship and that too with China?" Prasad asked.
"Congress must explain as to how many other political parties of major democracies of the world did they execute any MoU with? Congress should tell how many MoUs they have signed with political parties across the world during 10 years of rule Manmohan Singh government," he said.
Prasad quoted a report by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation that the proposed FTA between India and China is "feasible, desirable and mutually beneficial".
"Among the list of donors for the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the Chinese embassy is mentioned. What was the need? According to a report of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, there is a mention of India-China studies. It is written there that the proposed FTA between India and China will be feasible, desirable, and mutually beneficial. The report stated that the proposed FTA between India and China should be comprehensive with a free flow of goods, services, investment and capital," he said.
"Is this part of a strategy that trade deficit between India and China increased by 33 per cent during their government? The trade deficit between India and China because of all this lobbying by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation after they received a bribe from the Chinese embassy and the way they campaigned for the free flow of FTA show this great rise (in trade deficit)," the minister said.
The BJP leader asked if the foundation had taken due permission before receiving donations from China.
"Rajiv Gandhi Foundation is an extension of Congress. Did they take permission before taking money from China? Have they conveyed to the government that the money they have received from the Chinese embassy is being utilised to undertake studies to promote the free flow of FTA?" he asked. (ANI)
The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), set up to realize the vision of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is chaired by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi.
Its trustees include former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and P Chidambaram.
The Congress has been attacking the government over "incursions" by China in Ladakh. (ANI)

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