BJP leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday charged that China, NewsClick website and the Congress are linked to an "anti-India umbilical cord" as he cited a news report which alleged that companies linked to China were funding the portal.
In a report titled ‘A Global Web of Chinese Propaganda Leads to a US Tech Mogul’, The New York Times has claimed that the news portal was part of a global network that received funding from American millionaire Neville Roy Singham, who allegedly works closely with the Chinese government media machine.
"In New Delhi, corporate filings show, Singham's network financed a news site, NewsClick, that sprinkled its coverage with Chinese government talking points. 'China's history continues to inspire the working classes,' one video said," The New York Times report noted.
Addressing a press conference along with Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, Thakur said India was telling the world that NewsClick was a dangerous global network of propaganda.
When Enforcement Directorate raids were conducted against NewsClick two years ago, he said, the Congress and other opposition parties stood by the news portal and questioned the government's action, raising the issue of press freedom.
"The newspaper (NYT), about which Congress and opposition parties talk big, has confirmed what India had said two years ago. In 2021, we exposed NewsClick and how the foreign hand was working against India," Thakur said.
The Congress and opposition parties had then come in support of the ”anti-India, break India campaign,” he charged. ”Congress, China and NewsClick are part of one anti-India umbilical cord,” Thakur alleged, adding, ”Chinese goods are being sold in Rahul Gandhiji's fake 'Mohabbat ki Dukan' (shop of love).”
The minister said, "If you see the funding network of NewsClick, it was funded by a foreigner, Neville Roy Singham, and he gets funds from China. Neville Roy Singham has direct contact with the propaganda arm of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese media company Maku Group," he said.
"They present fake news in the name of free news. Congress and other parties are supporting them," he alleged.
Earlier in the day, BJP member Nishikant Dubey mentioned in Lok Sabha the New York Times report.
There was no immediate reaction available from the news portal or Congress.