MHA constitutes panel to coordinate investigations against 3 Gandhi family trusts

New Delhi: Three trusts linked to the Gandhi family will be investigated for alleged wrongdoing in financial dealings, the centre said on Wednesday. The Home Ministry has formed an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate investigations into alleged income tax and foreign donation rules violation by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, the ministry’s spokesperson tweeted this morning.

The investigations will focus on the alleged violation of laws like the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Income Tax Act, Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act by the Gandhi family-run trusts, said a Home Ministry tweet. The special director of the Enforcement Directorate will head the committee, the Home Ministry said.

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. The Congress has denied any wrongdoing and calls the investigation “political vendetta”. Last month, the ruling BJP accused the Congress of “brazen fraud”, alleging that when it was in power, the Manmohan Singh government donated money from the Prime Minister’s National relief Fund to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

“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,” BJP president JP Nadda had said. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is chief of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and the board includes Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, P Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh.

The BJP also alleged that in his Budget speech in 1991 as Finance Minister, Manmohan Singh had allocated Rs 100 crore to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. “Budget speech document from 1991. Page 16, Para 57. Manmohan Singh gave 100 crore to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, 20 crore a year for five years,” a statement from the BJP said. The Congress has rubbished the allegations, calling them an attempt at diverting focus from the government’s handling of the China crisis.

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