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Congress dubs CBI raids on Chidambaram's home as witch hunt by Modi govt

Amit Agnihotri / New Delhi 16 May 17 | 07:50 PM

Delhi Police officials outside the Former Finance Minister P Chidambram House during the CBI Raid at his at Jor Bagh residence in New Delhi

The Congress dubbed CBI raids on premises related to Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, as political witch hunt by Modi government and said it won't be cowed down by such pressure tactics of the ruling BJP.

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"Revenge has become the DNA of the BJP. Central agencies like CBI and ED have become a puppet in the hands of the centre," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said responding to the CBI raids at 14 places in Chennai, Delhi, Gurugram and Mumbai.

The raids followed an FIR which mentions Karti as an accused in grant of foreign investment in 2007 to a company INX Media owned by former media baron Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani.

CBI claims Karti's firm received Rs 10 lakh as kickbacks from INX Media which obtained FIPB clearance for funds worth Rs 4.62 crore but got Rs 305 crore. Both Peter and Indrani had left INX Media in 2009.

The CBI further alleges that Karti received around Rs 3.5 crore through payments in companies like Chess Management Services (a company of Karti) and Advantage Strategic Consulting Limited through its Director Padma Vishwanathan. The FIR does not name Chidambaram, then finance minister, but alleges that he received certain favours in the deal. The FIR also alleges that officials bent norms to facilitate FIPB nod for INX Media.

The Congress said Chidambaram and his son were being targeted as the former finance minister was very vocal in criticising the policies of the Modi government. Chidambaram too said there is no allegation against him.

"FIPB approval is granted in hundreds of cases. The five Secretaries who constitute the FIPB, the officials of the FIPB Secretariat and the competent authority in each case are the public officials. There is no allegation against any of them. There is no allegation against me."

Stating that every case was processed according to law, Chidambaram said the Modi government was targeting his son to silence him. According to Chidambaram government is using the CBI and other agencies, to target Karti and his friends. "The government's aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing, as it has tried to do in the cases of leaders of Opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organisations. All I will say is, I shall continue to speak and write."

Chidambaram had questioned demonetisation decision and has often targeted the government over its poor handling of the economy.

While Surjewala said the Congress was not afraid of such threats, union minister for power Piyush Goyal said Chidambaram is accountable for his son's actions. "The main question is why beneficiaries of FIPB approval gave money to Karti Chidambaram," he said.

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