Government Should Target Me Directly: P Chidambaram

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Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram

Former Union Minister P Chidambaram called the ED and IT Department raids on Advantage Strategic Consulting, a company with which Karti Chidambaram, son of P Chidambaram, was associated earlier, a “malicious onslaught launched by the government”.

Earlier in the day, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department raided on Vasan Eye Care and Advantage Stragetic. The two firms were involved in the Aircel-Maxis deal. The joint operation by the two authorities were conducted mainly in Chennai.

“If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics,” P Chidambaram said in a statement.

“My family and I are quite prepared to face the malicious onslaught launched by the government. We have made it clear, repeatedly, that no member of my family has any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted,” the former union minister said.

“They are companies that are professionally managed and are capable of answering any question that may be put to them by the authorities. I condemn the attempt to link them to my son and harass them on that ground,” he said.

The former finance minister also alleged that the raids were being conducted at the behest of the government by an officer who has a pending dispute with the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

The former minister said the orders in the case were apparently passed during the term of his predecessor. “He met me and wanted me to intervene in his favour. I declined… the change of government has given him an opportunity to misuse his powers to harass my son and his friends,” he said, in the statement.

In December last year, the Enforcement Directorate questioned former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi in the Aircel-Maxis case.

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