NEW DELHI: As the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted raids on senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram’s son Karti’s properties, the party said “Raid Raj” has become the “DNA” of Modi government and it exposes its vendetta politics by using probe agencies as “captive puppets”.
Chidambaram accused the government of “unleashing vicious vendetta” against the opposition after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out raids at the residence of the former Union minister here in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case. Chidambaram accused the ED of misusing its power at the behest of the government. He said he would not succumb to pressure and continue to speak and write.
He spoke to reporters outside his Jorbagh residence here, hours after the ED conducted searches at 10 premises linked to his son Karti Chidambaram in connection with the probe.
P Chidambaram termed the raids “a comedy of errors” and claimed the officers were left “embarrassed” and “apologetic” as they could not find anything at his house.
“Since they had the search warrant, I did not object to the search but I said I will record my protest that there is no FIR in respect of the scheduled crime … there are obviously no proceeds of crime and the ED has no jurisdiction under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA),” he told reporters.
Later, in a statement, he said there is no predicate scheduled offence and hence the ED has no jurisdiction.
“Yet the ED, at the behest of the government, continues to misuse its powers. Let the government misuse the ED. I shall neither bend nor break and I shall continue to speak and write,” P Chidambaram said.
In a separate satament congress party said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government was ruffled by a series of political, administrative and judicial reversals and was, therefore, using these raids to divert the attention of the country from its abject failures.
The party said Congress leaders would not be “cowed down or bow in face of such malicious and wilful attempts to browbeat, bulldoze or overawe”.
“Hurriedly conducted ED raids at the Delhi and Chennai residences of former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram have once again exposed the continuing vicious vendetta unleashed by Modi government against Congress and other opposition leaders,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a statement.
“Stark truth is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government are using agencies like ED and CBI as captive puppets to settle political scores and intimidate political opponents. In fact, ‘Raid Raj’ has become the ‘DNA’ of Modi government,” he added.
With such “spiteful and hostile onslaught” to suppress the voice of opposition, the party’s resolve to raise people’s issues and hold the government and the Prime Minister accountable on policy and promises only became stronger, Surjewala said.
The Directorate on Saturday conducted raids on Karti Chidambaram’s properties in Delhi and Chennai in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.
The raids were conducted at one location in Delhi and four in Chennai.