As Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda intensified its attack on the Congress, alleging links between the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) and China, posing 10 questions to it, Congress hit back at the saffron party with its own set of 10 counter questions.
Congress, in a statement, said that the allegations by JP Nadda were his flailing attempts at distraction and diversion from the issues of national security and territorial integrity.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the BJP chief has made it his "favourite pastime to mislead the country by making sensational claims".
Randeep Surjewala said, "The wild and insidious hatred of the BJP vis-à-vis the Indian National Congress unfolds every day in an embarrassing and uglier fashion."
On the allegations that Congress had accepted a donation from the Chinese embassy in 2005-06, Randeep Surjewala instead accused the BJP of receiving foreign funding. Surjewala also said the BJP leadership was scared of the questions being asked on its "deep-rooted" Chinese connections.
Surjewala also challenged the BJP to disclose its link to the "China Association for International Friendly Contact" (CAIFC) and its persistent interactions with the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
He asked 10 counter questions to JP Nadda in response to the questions posed by the latter to attack the Congress:
1. What is the connection of the BJP to the Communist Party of China (CCP)? What is the historical relationship between BJP and CCP spoken about by the then BJP President, Shri Rajnath Singh during the visit of a CCP delegation on January 30th, 2007 and reiterated by him during the meeting with members of Politburo of the CCP on October 17th, 2008?
2. Why did the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) go to China in January 2009 on an invite from the CCP? Why was a delegation of RSS invited by the CCP despite it not being a political party and what discussions were held on our sensitive state of Arunachal Pradesh as also Tibet?
3. Why did the then BJP President, Shri Nitin Gadkari go to China on a five-day visit on January 19th, 2011 at the invitation of the Communist Party of China (CCP)?
4. Why did the then BJP President, Shri Amit Shah send a delegation of MP's/MLA's in November 2014 to China for a week-long study in "The Party School" of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)?
5. Why did Shri Narendra Modi visit China on 4 separate occasions as Chief Minister of Gujarat and on 5 separate occasions as the PM of India, besides hosting the Chinese Premier on 3 occasions in India? Isn't he the only PM to have had 18 meetings with the Chinese Premier in 6 years as the Prime Minister? Has his 'Jhula Diplomacy' worked?
6. Will the BJP, like the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation has done, ask the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ('RSS') to make public the list of all its donors and the amounts received including from all foreign sources including individuals, entities, organisations, and governments?
7. Will the BJP, like the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation has done, ask the Vivekananda Foundation and the India Foundation to make public the list of all its donors including international donors (including foreign individuals), companies, entities, organisations including those of Chinese origin, if any?
8. Will the BJP declare the name of donors from whom it has received thousands of crores in donations through electoral bonds?
Congress also asked the BJP if it will declare the source of its funding.
9. Will the BJP disclose the source of funding, amounts received, name of donors (including of Chinese origin) for "Overseas Friends of BJP" (OF-BJP)? How much amount has been received by OF-BJP from 'Overseas Friends of BJP-China and Hong Kong' and when? What is the connection of Shri Rajkumar Naraindas Sabnani alias Raju Sabnani to OF-BJP?
Congress also attacked the RSS, ideological mentor of the BJP, and dared it to declare its donors and how much the organisation has received in the past six years.
10. Has the BJP/RSS received funding from international foundations, funds, entities and organisations? If yes, how much amount has been received by BJP-RSS over the last 6 years by international funding and donors?
The questions came in response to the BJP's sharp attack on the Congress when it posed 10 questions to the opposition party, including about RGF's alleged links to China, saying the saffron party will leave no stone unturned in "exposing double-faced politicians".
"I want to tell Sonia Gandhi that under the garb of China and the COVID-19 crisis, one should not shy away from answering the questions the nation wants to know.... It is a shame. It is a sacrifice of national interest by accepting money from foreign powers in personal trusts," Nadda told reporters while attacking the Congress president.
Further, the Congress media in-charge clarified that RGF had received a modest amount of Rs. 20 lakh only from PMNRF in FY 2005-06 which was duly utilised for undertaking relief activities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. No other amount was received from PMNRF.
"No amount has been received as donation from Shri Mehul Choksi personally as has been falsely alleged, nor has any loan ever been given by RGF to him," he said. The records of RGF reflect receipt of a modest donation of Rs10 lakh from Naviraj Estates Pvt. Ltd. (in the year 2013) of which Shri Choksi was one of the Directors, he added.