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Karti arrest to intimidate Oppn, shift focus from scam: Chavan


Press Trust of India Mumbai
The Maharashtra Congress today slammed the Narendra Modi government after the CBI arrested Karti Chidambaram, son of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, saying the action was aimed at intimidating and browbeating the opposition.

Karti Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI this morning at Chennai airport in connection with its probe in the INX media case. The 46-year-old was placed under arrest by a CBI team on his return from London.

"The arrest of the son of the senior Congress leader, who has been very vocal against the Narendra Modi government, is a ploy to intimidate and browbeat the opposition and also an attempt to divert the public attention from the huge banking scam," senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told PTI.

"Karti was arrested for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). To the best of my knowledge, FEMA is a civilian offence, not a criminal one," he said.

An FIR filed by the CBI on May 15 last year had alleged irregularities in the FIPB clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds to the tune of Rs 305 crore in 2007 when P Chidambaram was the Union finance minister.

It has been alleged that Karti Chidambaram received funds to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case, officials said.

Questioning the arrest, Chavan said, "If the Modi government has anything concrete against him, they should file a chargesheet and prosecute him. If they apprehend that he will flee the country, his passport could be seized. But why arrest him."

According to Chavan, a former Union minister, the Congress won't be cowed down by such intimidating tactics.

"The BJP-led government should remember that Nirav Modi, accused of pulling off possibly India's biggest bank fraud, was posing for pictures with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month," Chavan said.

He alleged "proximity" between the prime minister and the PNB scam accused Nirav Modi, a billionaire diamond merchant, and Mehul Choksi.

Nirav Modi was a part of the delegation of Indian businessmen and corporate leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chavan claimed.

Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, too, termed Karti Chidambaram's arrest a case of political vendetta by the BJP.

"Karti's arrest is a case of political vendetta by the BJP. The truth will come out and these dirty tactics will be exposed," Nirupam said in a statement.

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First Published: Feb 28 2018 | 6:50 PM IST

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