Congress accuses Centre of ‘character assassinating’ Chidambaram in INX Media case
Congress on Friday alleged that the Modi government was trying to character assassinate former Finance Minister P Chidambaram as he continues to remain in judicial custody in the INX Media case.
Addressing a press conference here, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that all procedures were followed in granting approval for Foreign Direct Investment into the INX Media. “There has been a sustained campaign of vilification and character assassination of Chidamabaram in INX media case,” he said.
Ramesh argued that the INX Media file was cleared by 11 officers of Finance Ministry without leaving any note on the file before it was approved by Chidambaram, the then minister. “Investigating agencies questioned some of the officers but they never questioned their role. They never said that the officers did any wrong. If agencies think the officers did no wrong, then how come Chidamabaram can be held guilty?” the former Union minister said.
The Congress leader, however, clarified that the party does not want the officer to be arrested as there was no irregularity in the process and alleged that the Centre was framing Chidambaram due to political motives.
Elaborating the process of giving sanctions to any FDI proposal, he explained that the proposal was first reviewed by FIPP board comprising six members which send its recommendations to a ministerial team having five officers which again review it. “Then the file is finally put before the finance minister for approval,” he said.
Jairam Ramesh rued over some people using “kingpin” for Chidambaram and said the government was the kingpin in framing the former Finance Minister.
He said: “How is he being called the ‘kingpin’ when he signed the files after it was signed by 11 officers without raising any objections? The kingpin is present in the government. The kingpin is not the one who is behind bars, the kingpins are carrying out a sustained defamatory campaign against Chidambaram.”Chidambaram was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on August 21 and was in its custody till September 5.
He is currently in judicial custody in Tihar Jail where he will remain till October 3.
Chidambaram is facing probe in cases registered by both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) pertaining to alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance given to INX Media to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007. (ANI)