Chaos in Lok Sabha over NYT report, BJP MPs accuse Congress of Chinese links | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Chaos in Lok Sabha over NYT report, BJP MPs accuse Congress of Chinese links: ‘Between 2005 and 2014…’

Aug 07, 2023 02:50 PM IST

Nishikant Dubey raised the issue of a news report in The New York Times which claimed that web portal NewsClick has received ₹38 crore funding.

The Lok Sabha on Monday saw unprecedented scenes during the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament after Bharatiya Janata Party member Nishikant Dubey raised the issue of a news report in The New York Times which claimed that web portal NewsClick has received 38 crore funding and the money has been used to create an anti-India environment.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI)

When the Lok Sabha met at 12pm, Congress MPs entered the House with Rahul Gandhi, whose Lok Sabha membership was restored on Monday, shouting slogans including “Bharat Jodo Bharat Jodo” and “Rahul Gandhi Zindabad Zindabad”. Dubey then raised the issue of The New York Times report, claiming web portal NewsClick is a member of the anti-India ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang, and demanded that the government investigate the beneficiaries of the funding.

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“Between 2005 and 2014, whenever there was a crisis, the Congress had received money from China. In 2008, they had invited both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. In 2016, they were talking to the Chinese during the Doklam crisis,” the MP said.

He also took the names of Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh and Randeep Surjewala. Dubey also alleged that claimed that NYT report explained how money was given to Maoists and journalists such as Rohini Singh Swati Chaturvedi.

Responding to the BJP leader's allegations, Chaturvedi tweeted, "Open challenge to @nishikant_dubey who slandered me just now in Parliament I have nothing to do with @newsclickin have not even appeared ever on any programme, have not received a penny from them for anything. @PMOIndia please investigate & act against coward Dubey misusing Parliamentary privilege.

“My journalistic income is an open book scrutinised every year by Income Tax @nsitharaman get a special audit done & let @nishikant_dubey the coward who misused his Parliamentary privilege to slander apologise. I have nothing to do with @newsclickin,” she added.

Meanwhile, in a letter to the Speaker, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury called Dubey’s allegations “libellous” and “defamatory”, and demanded that the BJP MP’s remarks be expunged from records.

“When the Acting Chair was giving the floor to ministers to lay papers on the table, Shri Nishikant Dubey’s microphone was switched on. He proceeded to level libellous and defamatory charges against the Congress Party and Shri Rahul Gandhi, a member of the House, without having given any notice, let alone taken the permission of the Chair. His allegations were a flagrant violation of Rule 353 of the Rules of Procedure ad Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha,” Chowdhury wrote.

“We therefore demand, under Rule 350, that his remarks be expunged in full and that an inquiry be conducted into how such an allegation was permitted to be raised on the record,” the Congress leader added.

Anurag Thakur alleges China-Congress links over NYT expose

Addressing a press conference, Union minister Anurag Thakur alleged that the Congress, China and NewsClick are part of an "umbilical cord". "In Rahul Gandhi's 'Nakli Mohabbat Ki Dukaan' Chinese goods can be seen clearly. His love for China can be seen. They were running an anti-India agenda…," Thakur said.

"In 2021, we exposed NewsClick as to how foreign propaganda is against India. In this anti-India campaign, Congress and other opposition parties came in their support... Chinese companies were funding NewsClick through Mogul Neville Roy Singham but their salesmen were some people from India, who came in their support when action was taken against them..." he added.

Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm on Monday amid sloganeering by treasury and opposition benches over a report on Chinese funds coming to India. Rahul Gandhi was present in the House when Dubey raised the issue.

As members from the opposition and treasury benches continued to be on their feet, Kirit Solanki, who was chairing the proceedings, adjourned the Lok Sabha till 2 pm.

What did New York Times claim?

US-based newspaper The New York Times had in a recent report claimed that one person, identified as Neville Roy Singham by the daily as a socialist benefactor of far-left causes, has worked closely with the Chinese government media machine and is financing the Chinese propaganda worldwide.

The NYT report has claimed that under Chinese President Xi Jinping, China has expanded state media operations, teamed up with outlets based in other nations and cultivated foreign influencers. Their aim is to disguise propaganda as independent content.

According to the report in the US daily, Singham’s groups have produced YouTube videos that have garnered millions of views. They also seek to influence real-world politics by meeting with congressional aides, training lawmakers in Africa, running candidates in South African polls and organizing protests like the one in London that erupted into violence.

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    Have 11 years' experience in print and digital media. Write on politics, defence and world affairs, and have a keen eye for human-interest stories.

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