Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday met party veteran P Chidambaram at New Delhi’s Tihar Jail, reported PTI. Chidambaram is in judicial custody till at least October 3 in connection with money laundering cases related to INX Media.
Chidambaram expressed his gratitude after the meeting. “I am honoured that Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh called on me today,” he said on his Twitter handle which is being handled by his family. “As long as the Congress party is strong and brave, I will also be strong and brave.”
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who claimed everything was fine in India when he addressed the Indian diaspora in Houston on Sunday, Chidambaram tweeted: “Bharat mai sab achha hai [Everything is good in India]. Except for unemployment, loss of existing jobs, lower wages, mob violence, lockdown in Kashmir and throwing Opposition leaders in prison.”
Karti Chidambaram, who also visited his father in jail, thanked Gandhi and Singh for their support. “My father and my family are extremely grateful to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former PM Dr Manmohan Singh for visiting him today and for extending their support,” he said, according to ANI. “It’s a big boost for us in this political fight.” He said the three leaders also had a “long discussion about the state of the economy”. Last week, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel had met Chidambaram.
Chidambaram was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on August 21 in connection with the INX media money laundering case. He is being investigated by both the CBI and the ED in the matter. The Congress has always maintained that Chidambaram’s arrest was a witch hunt by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government.
According to the CBI, there were irregularities in the foreign direct investment clearance granted to INX Media by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board in 2007. The Congress leader was the finance minister at the time. The company was then owned by businesspersons Indrani and Peter Mukerjea, who are lodged in jail in connection with the murder of Indrani Mukerjea’s daughter Sheena Bora.
The CBI claimed that Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram allegedly received Rs 10 lakh from the company for helping it avoid punitive action for taking Rs 305 crore in foreign funding in 2007, despite having clearance for only Rs 4 crore.
The Enforcement Directorate had filed a money laundering case in May 2017 against Karti Chidambaram, INX Media and the Mukerjeas. The former owners of INX Media reportedly told the investigating agencies that Chidambaram had asked them to meet his son and help him with his business.
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