BJP president J P Nadda Friday said the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund donated money to the "family-run" Rajiv Gandhi Foundation when the Congress-led UPA was in power, claiming it was a "brazen fraud" and a big betrayal of the people of India.
Nadda, who on Thursday targeted the Congress and the Gandhi family for allegedly accepting donations to the foundation from the Chinese embassy, also posted a photograph of documents as a ‘proof’ for his fresh charges.
But Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP and Nadda of playing a "diabolical game of deception" to divert attention from the alleged ‘Chinese occupation of Indian territory’.
The BJP and the Congress are locked in a bitter war of words over the two issues.
"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," Nadda said on Twitter.
Diverting the hard-earned money of the people of India to a family-run foundation is not only a "brazen fraud" but also a "big betrayal" of the people, he added.
"One family's hunger for wealth has cost the nation immensely. If only they had devoted their energies towards a more constructive agenda. The Congress’ Imperial Dynasty needs to apologise to the unchecked loot for self-gains!" the BJP chief said.
Later, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra demanded a response from Congress president Sonia Gandhi, saying she is "no queen" and should explain the charge. He also alleged that Gandhi has written the script of corruption in the country.
The Congress has become synonymous with corruption and conspiracy, he told reporters, and alleged that the Gandhi family floated "shell companies" like the RGF to become "rich".
Hitting back, Surjewala said, "The diabolical game of deception, diversion and disinformation is being played out by the BJP and J P Nadda to divert the attention of the country from the Chinese occupation of Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso and now Depsang up to the Y-junction, 18 kms inside the LAC."
"This is the greatest disservice that the BJP and PM Narendra Modi are doing to the country. Instead of fighting China and defending our country, they are fighting the Congress party and undermining India's territorial integrity," Surjewala alleged.
Patra said the PMNRF donated money to RGF thrice when the UPA was in power.
Gandhi as Congress president was on the board of the PMNRF and also headed the RGF, Patra said.
The audit company for the PMNRF was headed by a former Congress MP and Union minister, he said.