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Bhupesh Baghel condemns P Chidambaram's arrest, abrogation of Article 370

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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday condemned the arrest of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and said he is being investigated due to the vindictiveness of the central government.

"He was the one who raised voice against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) flaws and failure of our economy, which is why the government is taking action against him. His name is not even mentioned anywhere in the First Information Report (FIR), then why is he facing such trouble?" said Baghel while speaking to ANI.

"Soon after the anticipatory bail was dismissed, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were looking for him as if they were looking for a terrorist. Chidambaram has served as Finance Minister and Home Minister but lately, he has continuously been criticising government's policies like GST and other failed policies," he added.

Baghel added: "The government is unable to tolerate this criticism hence they are taking this revenge. I believe id the government is unable to handle such criticism, it's very precarious for the democracy which might even end if they continue to do so."

On being asked about BJP's comment that just like Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced the law, similarly, Chidambaram should also face it, Baghel said: "Shah's name was directly mentioned in the Sohrabuddin case but Chidambaram's name is nowhere in the FIR in the current case. Is the government doing this out of vindictive feeling?"

Chidambaram, one of the key ministers during ten years of UPA regime, was taken to headquarters of the probe agency after being arrested from his Jor Bagh residence on Wednesday night in connection with the INX Media case.

He was arrested after he failed to get relief from the Supreme Court over CBI and ED's pursuit of him.

Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Randeep Singh Surjewala have voiced their discontent against the arrest of former union minister by the investigation agencies.

Baghel commented on the arrest of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party chief, Raj Thackeray's questioning session by ED, Baghel and said that ED is specifically targeting opposition leaders. "Why hasn't the ED questioned any BJP leader? Do CBI and ED only remember the faces of opposition leaders?" he added.

Baghel further condemned the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir state.

"The way Central Government abrogated Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir overnight was wrong. Had it been passed in the state assembly earlier, the people of Kashmir would have been benefitted. Even Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were divided; similarly, the government should have taken a decision for the development of Jammu and Kashmir," said Baghel.

"They took this decision without taking anyone into confidence. The government took a decision for the people of Jammu and Kashmir but they were completely unaware of this decision. What kind of democracy is this?" he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 22 2019. 15:14 IST