The Congress on Saturday came out in support of former Union minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram, who are facing corruption charges, and accused the BJP government of carrying out a "repeated persecution and scurrilous witch-hunt" of the family.
Congress media in-charge Randeep Surjewala alleged that "persecution, vendetta and vilification" of opposition leaders had become the "sine qua non" (an essential condition) of the Narendra Modi government.
"Tragically, the CBI, ED and other investigating agencies have become captive puppets in the government's mal-intent to oppress, hound and intimidate its opponents," he said in a statement.
"Repeated persecution and a scurrilous witch-hunt of the family of former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case by the BJP government and CBI/ED have crossed all proportions, in complete negation of facts," he added.
Surjewala said the agencies did question Chidambaram in 2014 and alleged that they "deliberately widened the ambit" of their investigation and questioned Karti in November 2014, but the latter rejected all the charges levelled against him.
"Neither will the Congress party, nor its leaders despair or quit from speaking the truth," he said, quoting Mahatma Gandhi's words -- "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth."
The Congress leader said the people of the country would not be fooled by such "diversionary tactics" of the BJP regime, which wanted to shift their attention from its "failures on the core issues of unemployment, economic downslide, farm distress, the demonetisation disaster and a repressive tax regime, with the entire spectrum of state authorities being used to convert the country into a police state".