Former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti, maintaining the same stand as his father, alleged that the Centre was “manufacturing” raids to silence his voice.
Earlier in the day, Chidambaram said that he and his son were being targeted to muzzle his voice. This was, after searches were conducted at several places in connection with an alleged criminal misconduct in approving foreign direct investment (FDI) for a private firm during the previous Congress-led UPA government. However, the former Finance Minister denied any misconduct in the grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media.
Karti before being taken away by the CBI for questioning, told the media, that “This raid is being carried out only because of political vendetta.” Karti, further justifying his innocence said he has done nothing wrong and that the government cannot prove any allegations against him. “They want to suppress my voice. They cannot prove any allegations against me,” said the Union Minister’s son.
Union Minister of State for Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan, ruling out a vendetta, said in Madurai that the searches being carried out by CBI were as part of its investigation into the INX media case. DMK working president MK Stalin accused the Centre of “misusing” agencies like CBI and said the former union minister and his son would face the matter legally.
Meanwhile, the raids conducted by CBI are still underway and Karti has now been taken to his office from his residence. An FIR has also been lodged against Karti, Indrani Mukherjea, unknown officers of FIPB Unit of Ministry of Finance and others over alleged financial misappropriation over FIPB clearance to Peter and Indrani’s media company INX Media in 2008.
Criminal conspiracy, cheating, taking gratification in order by corrupt or illegal means to influence public servant and criminal misconduct, have been charged over them. The case has been registered under section 120-B r/w, section 420, section 8 and section 13(2) r/w and 13 (1) (d) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Chidamabaram said the BJP-led NDA government was using the CBI and other agencies to target “my son and his friends”. the former Home Minister and senior Congress leader in a statement said “FIPB approval is granted in hundreds of cases. The five secretaries, who constitute the FIPB, other officials of the FIPB and competent authorities in each case are public officials. There is no allegation against any of them. There is no allegation against me.”
He said when he was the Finance Minister every case was processed “according to the law and approval was granted or refused in accordance with the recommendations of the FIPB, consisting of five secretaries to the Government of India”.
“The government’s aim is to silence my voice and stop me from writing as it has tried to do in the case of leaders of opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society organization. All I will say is, I shall continue to speak and write,” added the Congress leader.