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Five Takeaways from the Affairs of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation of Congress

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation of Congress party

When it comes to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation of Congress party controlled by the family, the more you dig, the more dirt comes out it seems. After the recent revelation that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received money from the Chinese embassy, new elements are coming to light regularly, none of which show the Congress party in good light. Here is a look at all those events, and most importantly, what each of those instances tells about the Congress.

In a gist, the affairs of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation of Congress tell us five things: Congress may put its family interests before national security; it got ‘suit-boot’ people to fund the family; resources are meant for elites while the inclusion of SC/STs not entertained; there is no room for transparency; and government money is essentially to be treated as a family fund.

Even at the Cost of National Security

Reports now suggest that after the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received a donation from China, the UPA government had shown a hurry to close the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Later, the Modi government walked out of this deal as it was found detrimental to the interests of our farmers and small entrepreneurs. While the present government has made it clear that when it comes to the integrity of nation, it is prepared for any action, the UPA response back in 2013 was rather submissive.

Was Congress ready to compromise on national security in exchange for Chinese funds to a family-controlled foundation?

Who is the Guardian for ‘Suit-boot’ People?

It has now been revealed that fugitive diamantaire Mehul Chinubhai Choksi made undisclosed donations to the foundation in 2014-15. It is to be recalled that Rahul Gandhi’s top aide had appeared for Nirav Modi, the fugitive who is facing trial in Britain. Rahul Gandhi, who threw ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’ jibe, has still not been cornered by the media to explain all these.

Lip Service for the Underprivileged - The Elite Mindset of Congress

An article in Outlook magazine back in December 1995, has thrown light on the crucial aspects of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation which is now in the news for wrong reasons. The article among other thing had noted this- “the RGF has refused to reserve jobs for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs and STs) on the grounds that the Foundation already has sufficient staff and professionals with experience are hard to find among the underprivileged classes.”

Congress Against Transparency

The same Outlook report states, “The much pampered and privileged NGO, which has Sonia Gandhi as its chairperson, is crossing swords with the very government which has funded it liberally.” It adds, “Not only has the Foundation denied the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) access to its book of accounts, but it has made it clear that it will not submit copies of its annual reports to be tabled in Parliament.”

Government Fund is Family Fund – Congress Mindset

It is well-known by now that Congress diverted money from PMNRF, which is meant for natural calamity, to its family foundation. At least seven ministries under the UPA government had also allocated money to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation of Congress party. Though it can be argued that NGOs often get such government funds, no other foundations can access the government funding with such ease, that too without being accountable. Again, the Outlook report reminds us that this was not just under UPA. The foundation enjoyed regular funding from the government in the past too when the party was at the helm. The report noted, “A look at the RGF corpus is revealing. In 1991-92, it totalled ₹11.17 crore; in 1992-93, it rose to ₹16.29 crore; to ₹19.67 crore in 1993-94 and yet further to ₹22.46 crore in 1994-95, making it the only foundation in the country which is actually adding to its corpus.”