02:55 GMT05 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a dedicated COVID-19 fund - the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency - in March, urging people to come forward and donate to the cause. However, the fund is mired in controversy as opposition seeks to discover where the money went.

    Netizens are mocking India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for posting a picture of a ventilator in response to the opposition and the general public's demand to show transparency on the usage of the PMCARES Fund, which was launched to support India's fight against COVID-19.

    ​The netizens ridiculed the picture of the ventilator shared by party spokesperson Sambit Patra and argued that all that the party had to show from the PMCARES Fund was a picture of a ventilator.

    ​Some netizens even questioned the authenticity of the ventilator. A twitter user opined, "To be honest, they didn't even buy this Ventilator, all they bought was just one sticker."

    However, some of the netizens lauded the government's initiative and the sharing of the picture. The BJP's digital media head Amit Malviya also shared the picture.

    ​The government has refused to disclose information on the fund in response to a Right to Information request for transparency. The government argues that the fund falls outside the ambit of “public authority” and therefore the information cannot be disclosed.

    A fresh plea has since been filed in the Delhi high court challenging the government's response. The opposition has also asked the government to provide more information on the fund, which received large donations from business tycoons - $65 million from India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, and generous donations from celebrities and the general public.

    The row over the fund intesified when the Indian government hired private Delhi-based chartered accountancy firm SARC & Associates to audit the fund.

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    Row Over Modi's Controversial COVID-19 Fund Intensifies as Public Seeks Transparency
    Tags:
    COVID-19, Narendra Modi, Delhi, India
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