Cong slams BJP for ‘witch­hunt’ of Chi­dambaram in Air­cel­Maxis case

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The Congress on Satur­day at­tacked the BJP-led NDA gov­ern­ment over “re­peated per­se­cu­tion and scur­rilous witch­hunt” of the fam­ily of for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram in the Air­cel-Maxis case.

“Per­se­cu­tion, vendetta and vil­i­fi­ca­tion of Op­po­si­tion lead­ers have become the ‘sine qua non’ of the cur­rent BJP gov­ern­ment,” Congress’ chief spokesper­son Ran­deep Singh Sur­je­w­ala said.

“Trag­i­cally, CBI, ED (En­force­ment Di­rec­torate) and other in­ves­ti­gat­ing agen­cies have become the cap­tive pup­pets in gov­ern­ment’s dis­grace­ful mal-in­tent to op­press, hound and in­tim­i­date its op­po­nents.”

Sur­je­w­ala’s re­marks came a day af­ter Chi­dambaram said the CBI should be ques­tion­ing him in­stead of ha­rass­ing his son Karti in the Air­cel-Maxis case, and ac­cused the probe agency of spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion.

The Congress said Aircel­Maxis trans­ac­tion was ap­proved by For­eign In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Board (FIPB) in 2006. FIPB com­prised six se­nior sec­re­taries and the con­cur­rence and ap­proval then came from Chi­dambaram, it said.

Agen­cies did ques­tion Chi­dambaram in 2014, the main op­po­si­tion party said, adding that FIPB of­fi­cials were also ques­tioned. “Agen­cies de­lib­er­ately widened the am­bit and ques­tioned Karti on Novem­ber 19, 2014, but he cat­e­gor­i­cally re­jected the in­nu­en­dos and in­sin­u­a­tions of knowl­edge or con­nec­tion to Air­cel-Maxis trans­ac­tion.”

Three years af­ter quash­ing of pro­ceed­ings and charges by a spe­cial court, Sur­je­w­ala al­leged that the CBI and ED were still hound­ing Chi­dambaram’s fam­ily in a ma­li­cious fashion.

THE CONGRESS SAID AIR­CEL­MAXIS TRANS­AC­TION WAS AP­PROVED BY FOR­EIGN IN­VEST­MENT PRO­MO­TION BOARD (FIPB) IN 2006

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