- Three Gandhi Trusts will be investigated by the Indian Government
- A Government panel will handle the investigations
- The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was set up in June 1991 and the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust in 2002; both are headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi
Three trusts which are linked to the Gandhi family are staring at some trouble as the Indian Government has decided to investigate them for alleged financial wrongdoings, the government announced today. The Union Home Ministry has established an inter-ministerial committee which will be responsible for coordinating the investigations into the alleged violation of the income tax and foreign donation rules by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the spokesperson of the Ministry tweeted.
The tweet read the investigations will look for the alleged violation of laws including the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, Income Tax Act, 1961, Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 by the Gandhi Family-run trusts.
The tweet also read the Special Director of the Enforcement Directorate will head the committee.
MHA sets up inter-ministerial committee to coordinate investigations into violation of various legal provisions of PMLA, Income Tax Act, FCRA etc by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust & Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) July 8, 2020
Spl. Dir of ED will head the committee.
The Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust was established in 2002, The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was founded in June 1991 and both these trusts are headed by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the wife of former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated in the year 1991.
The Congress party claims to have all accounts audited and is denying of any wrongdoings, calling the investigations in the trusts a “political vendetta” along with the recent moves to cancel the allocation of government bungalow of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Additionally, the ongoing National Herald case in which Sonia Gandhi along with Rahul Gandhi are being investigated in the allegations of misusing the party funds for their personal benefit.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said, “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,”.
Just last month, the saffron party accused the Congress of “brazen fraud” linked to the trusts, alleging that when the party was in power, the Manmohan Singh led government donated money to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
J P Nadda, President of BJP said, “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,”.
The ruling party also alleged that the foundation had received funds from the Chinese embassy in 2005, as a counter to daily attacks from the Congress and Rahul Gandhi on the June 15 border clash with China.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad the Congress party, “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,”.
The BJP has also put up allegation on the Budget speech of Dr Manmohan Singh in 1991 when he was serving as the Finance Minister of India and allocated Rs 100 crore to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
Apart from Sonia Gandhi, the board member of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation includes Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rahul Gandhi, Dr Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram.
Congress has denounced the allegations and said they are nothing but an attempt to divert the focus from the China crisis by the Government of India.