The Congress on Sunday alleged that Chinese firms have contributed heavily to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations, or PM-CARES, Fund set up for Covid-19. The allegations come at a time when the Congress has been accused of having received funds from the Chinese Embassy for the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

Detailing the contributions, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that of the Rs 9,678 crore received in the PM-CARES Fund, Rs 7 crore has been received from Huawei, a Chinese company. “Everyone knows Huawei is the alter ego of People’s Liberation Army hence Chinese government,” he said. “Rs 30 crore has come from Chinese company TikTok. Paytm with 38% Chinese controlled shareholding has donated.”

The Congress leader wondered why Modi had accepted funds from these Chinese firms. He asked Modi to firstly, call China an aggressor, secondly, to tell the country how far China has intruded into Indian territory, and thirdly, say that the Centre will not compromise on national security. “Say these three statements and we will stand behind you and fight to the finish,” Singhvi asserted.

In a video briefing, Singhvi said that the area China has occupied is not important to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government. “What’s important are two other things- I, me, myself,” Singhvi said referring to Modi. “Once ‘I’ve’ said something it must be proven right by other agencies. Second thing equally important during this national security issue is Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. That’s the answer you will get for all questions.”

Singhvi said that while the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation has made public its source of funds, the same may not be said for the BJP and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The Congress wondered why RSS leaders went to China in January at the invitation of the Chinese Communist Party, and what discussions were held on the Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh disputes.

Singhvi alleged that there had been continuous exchanges between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of China through leaders like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah. He claimed that leaders from the BJP and the Communist Party of China have repeatedly visited each other.

“As we all know the prime minister has a special soft spot for China,” the Congress alleged. “Even as chief minister of Gujarat, we saw his close association in his four Chinese visits. He is the only prime minister who has visited China five times.”

The BJP is yet to respond to the allegations. “Donation to the PM-CARES Fund for Covid-19 is not the same as donations for a private organisation like the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation controlled by Sonia Gandhi and her family,” an unidentified party member told NDTV.

National security?

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he would address India’s national security problems. Gandhi’s question came after Modi in his “Mann Ki Baat” address praised Indian soldiers for giving “a befitting reply to those coveting our territories”, referring to the clash with China along the Line of Actual Control on June 15, in which 20 Indian soldiers died.

“When will there be talk of national security?” Gandhi tweeted in response.

Gandhi had earlier this week accused Modi of surrendering to the Chinese, labelling him “Surrender Modi”.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed and 76 injured in a violent altercation with Chinese forces in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on the intervening night of June 15-June 16. The face-off between the two neighbouring countries was the worst instance of violence along the Line of Actual Control since 1975. There were several reports of Indian soldiers being attacked with iron rods and clubs and thrown into the freezing Galwan river. India also accused China of assembling a large number of troops along the Line of Actual Control.

However, even as India and China continued to speak of disengagement, satellite imagery and multiple news reports confirmed that the Chinese structures that led to the violent clash in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh were back.