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Rajiv Gandhi foundation received ’50 lakhs’ from controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik ; BJP attacks Congress

New Delhi: The BJP on Monday stated that controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik had donated Rs 50 lakh to Congress’ Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in 2011.While talking in a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation which is under investigation donated the amount to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

“On 8 July 2011, the foundation gave Rs 50 lakh to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.  The donation was done from a DCB bank account. This account is seized under PMLA,” Patra alleged.He went on to claim that exile diamond merchant Mehul Choksi who is involved in the Punjab National Bank fraud case had also donated to the RGF.“The donations to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was no coincidence, but a conspiracy. The first revelation is on Mehul Choksi, who had donated to the RGF, who was involved in the Punjab National Bank fraud case,” he said.

“Naviraj Estate Pvt Ltd, a paper manufacturing company, showed no business activity in their accounts in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Rs 47.48 crore was received by this company in one chunk and Rs 24.45 lakh was received from Gitanjali Infratech Pvt Ltd. Gitanjali Infratech is owned by Mehul Choksi and Naviraj Estate Pvt Ltd is owned by Rohan Choksi. Naviraj, then, donated it to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation,” he added.

Earlier, BJP chief JP Nadda had asserted that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation headed by Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi had received funds from China in 2005 and 2006.Nadda had also supposed that money from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund was diverted and donated to the Rajiv Gandhi foundation during Manmohan Singh’s tenure as the prime minister.“PMNRF, meant to help people in distress, was donating money to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in the UPA years. Who sat on the PMNRF board? Sonia Gandhi. Who chairs RGF? Sonia Gandhi. Totally disgraceful, disregarding ethics, processes and not bothering about transparency,” he had tweeted.


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