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NEW DELHI: In what is likely to be a new political flashpoint, the Union home ministry said on Wednesday that an inter-ministerial panel has been set up to co-ordinate the probe into alleged funding 

violations by three organisations associated with the Gandhi family. The move is set to fuel tensions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government and the main opposition Congress party.

The home ministry said in a tweet that the committee will look into alleged violations of various legal provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Income Tax Act and the Foreign 

Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) the by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust. “Special director of Enforcement Directorate will head the committee," the ministry said.

Reacting to the move, Congress party said the association government was rehearsing a legislative issue of retribution yet included that trusts like RGF have indicated essential reports previously and would keep on doing as such. 

"We are here as reputable people to reply. Every restriction fragment, individual and institutional, is being hassled. Nation uncovered you each time you pose such inquiries of RGF, and RGF answers you with a truck heap of examined charge papers and proceeds with real social work without being cowed down," Abhishek Singhvi, national representative and senior Congress pioneer said in a virtual public interview on Wednesday evening. 

The move is probably going to compound the political war of words between the Union government and the Congress party as the board of trustees will take on examinations legitimately connected with associations named after the Gandhi family.

The donation pattern of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) has been under the political spotlight for nearly a fortnight now. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Jagat Prakash Nadda had alleged on 25 June in a virtual rally that RGF accepted a donation of $300,000 from China during 2005-06.

The allegations had led to an intense verbal spat as the Congress party responded by saying that such allegations were ‘diversionary tactics’ from the border clash with China and attacked the Union 

government for being silent over a number of issues related to the incident.

Set up in 1991, RGF seeks to promote education while RGCT, a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2002, seeks to address the development needs of the underprivileged. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust 

also seeks to promote education. Congress party president Sonia Gandhi chairs both RGF and RGCT while former party president Rahul Gandhi is on the board of both the organisations.

Trusts are highly regulated entities and the government has been tightening rules over the years to ensure that these entities that receive tax benefits utilise their funds for their stated objectives.
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