The Congress government while in power was doling out largesse to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) and Manmohan Singh as finance minister in 1991 allocated Rs1bn over five years.
The disclosures were revealed as the RGF comes under scrutiny following exposes that the Chinese government and the China embassy were donors to the foundation.
However, reportedly, following opposition uproar, the funds while allocated from the Budget could not be disbursed to the RGF.
The Budget Speech of 1991-92 by Manmohan Singh, minister of finance presented on July 24, 1991 has the detail.
“The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation has been established to perpetuate the memory of the great leader and to promote the ideals and objectives for which he lived and laid down his life,” Singh said. “This foundation, among other things, will lay particular emphasis on research and action programmes relating to the application of science and technology for development, propagation of literacy, the protection of the environment, the promotion of communal harmony and national integration, the uplift of the under-privileged, women and handicapped persons, administrative reforms and India’s role in the global economy,” he added.
“As a homage to the late Rajiv Gandhi and in support of the laudable objectives of the foundation, the government has decided to contribute Rs1bn to the foundation at the rate of Rs200mn per annum for a period of five years beginning from the current year,” the then finance minister said in the budget speech.
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra launched an attack on the central government for allocating Rs1bn to RGF led by Sonia Gandhi.
Patra said it was an example of Congress corruption and the RGF was formed to collect money.
Patra claimed that on three occasions, money from PM Relief Fund was diverted to RGF.
The money was taken in the form of a shell company.
Patra pointed out that Rameshwar Thakur was the auditor of the RGF. The rule is that the auditor has to be changed in three years but Thakur was not changed, Patra claimed.
Instead Thakur was rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat and also appointed as parliamentary affairs minister, Patra said.
Patra has alleged that the RGF under Sonia was formed to collect funds and is an example of Congress corruption.
BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya said in a tweet, “finance minister Dr Manmohan Singh allocated Rs1bn to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation...Rs200mn per year for five years...Former PM, supposedly ‘Mr Honest’, has been serving the interest of the Gandhis for as long as one can go back to!”.
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