The Congress and its leader P Chidambaram accused the government on Saturday of “unleashing vicious vendetta” against the opposition after the Enforcement Directorate carried out raids at the residence of the former Union minister 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 in Delhi, hours after the ED conducted searches at 10 premises linked to his son Karti Chidambaram in connection with the probe.
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,” Chidambaram said.
In a separate statement, AICC in-charge of media Randeep Singh Surjewala said the raids were part of a “continuing vicious vendetta unleashed by Modi government against Congress and other opposition leaders”.
He alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government were using agencies including ED and CBI as “captive puppets” to settle political scores and intimidate political opponents.
“In fact, ‘raid raj’ has become the ‘DNA’ of the Modi government. We again reiterate that Congress leaders will not be cowed down or bow in face of such malicious and wilful attempts to browbeat and bulldoze,” he said.
In a reference to the ED raids at multiple premises linked to Congress leader P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday claimed that this was an act to “divert the attention” of the people, following the Supreme Court judges’ press meet on Friday.
“The BJP men are best in diverting the attention of the people. The judges had raised a serious matter yesterday and today they (government) raided someone’s residence,” he said.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday conducted searches at 10 premises linked to Karti Chidambaram in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case in which Maran brothers currently facing trail now in CBI Court.