India

PM CARES: Cong questions Huawei, TikTok donations, seeks PM Modi's reply

PM CARES: Cong questions Huawei, TikTok donations, seeks PM Modi's reply
The former finance minister said “when they are fugitives, the technical rule in the book should not be applied to them. That is my view”.

The Congress Sunday raised questions on the PM CARES Fund receiving donations from Chinese companies like Huawei and TikTok and demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“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 Chinese aggression? Prime Minister Modi needs to answer,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.

“PM CARES fund was set up on March 28, 2020. Chinese-owned companies donated money from that date. Chinese troops began incursions into Ladakh in March-April 2020. Does it require great intelligence to discern China’s motives? China lulled India into complacency by Jhoola diplomacy and Chinese money. Was it not an abject failure on the part of the Modi government?” said former Union minister P Chidambaram.

Singhvi claimed that while Huawei has donated Rs 7 crore, TikTok has given Rs 30 crore. “Why did you allow even a penny to come… Even a child knows Huawei is not only a Chinese company but an alter ego of the PLA, forget the Chinese government. And you have taken Rs 7 crore from the extension of the PLA.”

“Why did the PM accept funds from Chinese-owned funds, one of which has a deep connection with the Chinese Army, the PLA?” asked Chidambaram.

“Has Paytm, which has a 38 per cent Chinese ownership given 100 crore in the controversial Fund? Has Xiaomi, the Chinese company, committed Rs 15 crore to the controversial Fund?… Has the PM diverted the donations received in PMNRF to the controversial PM CARES Fund and how many hundred crores is the amount diverted?” Singhvi asked.

Referring to the BJP criticism over Rajiv Gandhi Foundation receiving donations from China and its Embassy in India in 2005, Chidambaram said that “in 2005, India-China relations were good and efforts were being made to improve them. If a donation in 2005 was wrong, how much more wrong was accepting donations after 2013-17?”

Singhvi said no one knows the constitution or operational framework of PM-CARES. “The Fund is not even subjected to audit by any public authority… the Fund appears to be solely run by the Prime Minister in an opaque and secret fashion with zero transparency and zero accountability.”

Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said the Prime Minister did not mention China in his radio address Sunday.