BJP cites opposition’s criticism of ED action against NewsClick to allege links with China
New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday cited opposition parties’ criticism of the ED action in 2021 against media portal ‘NewsClick’, now accused by a leading US daily of receiving funding from China-linked firms, to allege they might have formed a new alliance at China’s prodding to target India’s security and unity.
After its MP Sudhanshu Trivedi raised the issue in Rajya Sabha, BJP leader and Union minister Piyush Goyal hit out at the INDIA bloc of opposition parties claiming that the New York Times report suggesting Chinese funding to NewsClick has exposed them.
Goyal noted that the opposition had accused the government of suppressing the media following the Enforcement Directorate’s action against the news portal.
The NYT investigation has claimed that a wealthy US businessman-activist behind various influence campaigns across the world has been receiving funding from China and pushing Chinese propaganda under the garb of different causes. The name of ‘NewsClick’ figures among outlets linked to him.
Goyal said the leaders of “ghamandia” alliance have been exposed by the US daily report. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used the term “ghamandia” (full of arrogance) to take a dig at the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc formed by opposition parties to take on the BJP.
It used to be thought that only the Left parties follow instructions of Russia and China but then it was seen that the ever-young leader of the Congress was also guided by China as the party signed an agreement with the Chinese Communist Party, Goyal alleged, adding that India’s trade with the country rose under the erstwhile UPA government.
“The ‘NewsClick’ issue is very serious and raises serious questions about those who claim to speak about democracy and free press,” the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha told reporters.
Leaders of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and the Left among others had projected the action of probe agencies against the news portal on the charges of money laundering as the government’s attempt to suppress, gag and subjugate the media, he said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had raided the portal’s premises in February 2021 as the agency launched a probe over its alleged involvement in money laundering.
It has now come to light that under the garb of media, NewsClick targeted Indian security and was part of a ecosystem to mislead people with propaganda, Goyal said.
“This ‘ghamandia’ alliance is solely aimed at saving each other and this alliance has been perhaps formed at the prodding of China,” he alleged, adding that parties like the Congress, CPI(M), TMC, RJD and the AAP might have come together as part of a conspiracy to target India’s security, unity and integrity.
Trivedi had raised the issue in Rajya Sabha earlier and questioned the Congress for its alleged links with the portal.