A senior leader of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, which is a political and cultural organisation affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to accept an award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He was responding to an announcement by Minister of State for Prime Minister’s office Jitendra Singh that Modi would be given an award by the foundation for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan during his visit to the United States this month. The foundation runs several philanthropic projects around the world, many of which are in India.

“Request to PM Shri Narendra Modi to reconsider this award, given shady past of BMGF,” tweeted Swadeshi Jagran Manch Co-Convener Ashwani Mahajan. “BMGF is no philanthropist, they are doing business in the guise of philanthropy. They are also under severe allegations of conducting illegal and unethical medical trials to foster their business.”

Though Mahajan did not provide evidence to back his allegations, over the years many researchers have expressed concerns about lack of transparency in the organisation, its veto power over other global health institutions, and its spending priorities. Some of these concerns were mentioned in a 2015 article published by Vox.

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