Hitting back at the BJP for raising the issue of funding to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the Congress on Sunday alleged that Chinese firms were contributing to PM-CARES Fund and asked why it was accepting such donations at a time when India and China have been engaged in a tense border standoff.
There was no immediate response from the government on the allegations.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his "18 meetings" with Chinese President Xi Jinping in last six years and asked why he has not yet called China "an aggressor", hours after Modi in his "Mann ki Baat" radio broadcast asserted that India has given a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on its territory in Ladakh.
"I implore the prime minister to say that China is an aggressor," Singhvi said.
"What is most worrying and alarming for national security is the fact of donations received by Prime Minister Modi from the Chinese companies in his (seemingly personal) PM-CARES Fund," Singhvi said at a virtual press conference.
"If the Prime Minister of India will compromise his position by accepting donations of hundreds of crores from Chinese companies in the controversial and opaque fund, how will he defend the country against the Chinese aggression? Prime Minister Modi needs to answer," he said.
The PM-CARES Fund was set up in March this year with an objective to deal with any emergency arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, some opposition parties have demanded the donations received by the fund be made public.
Singhvi alleged that the BJP has maintained ties with the Communist Party of China since 2007 and its presidents, starting with Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah, have had the maximum number of exchanges with China.
"There is no political party in India's history whose presidents have had so much contact with China in the last 13 years," he claimed, adding Singh had interactions with the CPC in January 2007 and October 2008; Gadkari in January 2011 went on a five-day official visit to China; and Shah sent a large delegation of MLAs at a "party school" gathering of CPC in early 2014.