The Congress on Saturday accused the Narendra Modi government of persecution, vendetta and vilification of opposition leaders, including senior party leader P. Chidambaram, saying the CBI, ED and other investigating agencies have become the government's "captive puppets".
"Tragically, CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation ), ED (Enforcement Directorate) and other investigating agencies have become the captive puppets in government's disgraceful mal-intent to oppress, hound and intimidate its opponents," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a statement
"Repeated persecution and scurrilous witch hunt of the family of senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram in Aircel-Maxis case by the BJP government and CBI-ED have crossed all proportions in complete negation of the facts," he added.
Surjewala said: "Aircel-Maxis transaction was approved by Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in 2006. Incidentally, FIPB comprises six senior most secretaries of the government. Concurrence and approval then came from then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram."
"Agencies did question Chidambaram in 2014. FIPB officials were questioned. Agencies deliberately widened the ambit and questioned Karti Chidambaram on November 19, 2014.
"But he categorically rejected the innuendoes and insinuations of knowledge or connection to Aircel-Maxis transaction," he added.
He also said: "A chargesheet was then filed against Maxis and the Maran brothers. By order dated February 2, 2017, the Special Judge has quashed the charges and terminated the proceedings."
The CBI and the ED were still hounding the family of P. Chidambaram, including his son Karti Chidambaram in a malicious fashion, Surjewala said.
"This is despite the fact that the original FIR made no mention of any family member of P. Chidambaram as also the fact that chargesheet and proceedings have been quashed by the Special Judge," he added.
The party said people of the country would not be fooled by such diversionary tactics of the BJP government from its abject failures on the core issues of unemployment, economic downslide, farm distress, demonetisation disaster and a repressive tax regime with the entire spectrum of state authorities being used to convert the country into a police state.
"For neither will Congress party nor its leaders despair or quit from speaking the truth, as Mahatma Gandhi said, 'even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth'," said Surjewala.
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