Lawmakers from six political parties on Friday attacked the government for cancelling foreign funding licence of some NGOs, calling the Centre’s “selective targeting” anti-democratic and abhorrent.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modj, the members of Parliament said the decision to cancel the registration was motivated by the politics of vendetta, victimisation and an effort to bully them into silence.
The political leaders include Sitaram Yechury and P Karunakaran of the CPI(M), D Raja of the CPI, Ahmed Patel and Renuka Chaudhury of the Congress, Premchand Gupta of RJD, Praful Patel and Supriya Sule of NCP, and Neeraj Shekar of the Samajwadi Party.
The MPs contrasted the government’s enthusiasm to crack down on its critics with its approach towards NGOs affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. “The government does not investigate a single RSS-affiliated NGO who collect huge amounts of money abroad and then use it to further a hate-filled agenda.”
Over the last few weeks, the home ministry cancelled the licence of NGOs such as Sabrang Trust and Navsarjan Trust that were renewed this year. The ministry orders say the government did not mean to renew their registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) since there were adverse reports against them. But some officers inadvertently cleared them for renewal.
The MPs, however, insisted that the initial renewal of the FCRA registration of these organisations implied they fulfilled the laid-down criteria.