New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday (July 18, 2021) hit out at Newsclick and said that their only agenda is to defame India. Addressing a press conference, BJP’s National Spokesperson Sambit Patra said that Newsclick is a portal which ‘tries to portray itself as a media house’.
“The only agenda of these so-called portals and Newsclick is to spread the propaganda of a foreign nation and defame India. Some foreign powers and Indian politicians have teamed up to spread unrest. This is a part of an international toolkit,” Patra said.
The BJP leader also alleged that Newsclick received crores of rupees from abroad in a suspicious manner with a motive to portray India’s system as a failed one and spread foreign propaganda in India.
— BJP (@BJP4India) July 18, 2021
Sambit Patra also said that the Supreme Court and the High Court have given permission to carry out the Central Vista project, but still some people went ahead with their agenda of demeaning the project.
“It is only because of foreign funding,” the BJP spokesperson added.
Earlier on July 7, the Delhi High Court had granted interim protection from arrest to Newsclick’s editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and its director Pranjal Pandey in connection with a Delhi Police FIR concerning foreign funding and had directed them to join the investigation.
The allegations in the FIR, registered by the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police, are that the company, PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt Ltd, received Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Rs 9.59 crore from Worldwide Media Holdings LLC USA during the financial year 2018-19, in violation of the law.
However, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Purkayastha, contended that funding from the US-based company was received by the Newsclick in the year when there were no restrictions on FDI in digital news media.
The FIR alleges that the investment was made by greatly overvaluing the shares of the company to avoid the alleged cap of 26 per cent of FDI in a digital news website. It was further alleged that over 45 per cent of this investment was diverted/siphoned off for the payment of salary/consultancy, rent and other expenses, which payments are alleged to have been made for ulterior motives.
(With agency inputs)