Zakir donation to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was bribe: BJP

New Delhi : The BJP on Saturday alleged that the Rs 50 lakh given to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was a “bribe” given by Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) to cover up its “illegal activities”.

“The Congress is now saying they have returned the money but the IRF says they have not received it back. My question is: why did the Congress not return the money in 2012 itself when security agencies gave a negative report about Zakir Naik owned Peace TV?” BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad asked.

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He said the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had Congress President Sonia Gandhi as its chairperson and then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Rahul Gandhi and Priynaka Gandhi Vadra as members.

“On December 4, 2012, then Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari said in Parliament that security agencies had identified 24 illegal foreign channels whose content was objectionable and posed a potential security hazard.

“Naik’s Peace TV was among them. Why did the Congress not return the money in 2012 itself?” Prasad said.

He also demanded to know if the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was duly registered to receive foreign money under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

He said the IRF must have sought prior permission from the Home Ministry before channelling its foreign funds to another NGO.

“Why should we not raise apprehension that this huge amount of Rs 50 lakh was a bribe given by IRF to cover up its palpable illegal and anti-national activities,” Prasad said.