Karti Chidambaram, the son of former Union Minister P Chidambaram, was today arrested in Chennai by the CBI, as soon as he stepped out a British Airways flight while returning from London. This arrest is in connection with the INX media scam where the father-son duo has been under scanner regarding the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) approvals being provided to INX media, allegedly in exchange of bribes given to Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Limited, a firm controlled by Karti Chidambaram.
The political response to Karti’s arrest has been interesting, with the Congress party openly crying vendetta politics and AAP supremo Kejriwal deciding to maintain silence.
As earlier reported, Indrani Mukherjea currently in jail for allegedly killing her daughter had admitted to paying a Rs 5 crore bribe to one of Karti’s firms. In brief, INX media in 2006 had received FIPB clearances to bring in foreign investment worth Rs 5 crores. But in 2007 it was discovered that the company had decided to illegally bring in Rs 305 crore of investment instead. They, as a result, got in trouble with the Income Tax authorities.
The Karti Chidambaram angle comes in this matter with the allegation that, after the Income Tax notice arrived, Indrani gave a Rs 5 crore bribe to firms owned by Karti for acquiring “dubious and illegal” post facto FIPB clearances given to INX media by then Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Post facto approval means that approval is given after any project has either begun or completed.
Even though the charges against Karti Chidambaram are pretty serious, rather than pondering upon the facts, the Congress party’s in-charge of communications Randeep Surjewala, outright decided to cry vendetta:
Classical diversionary tactic to hide Scams & Colossal Corruption that is being exposed on a daily basis,be it NiMo+Choksi,D.D.Jewellers and Rotomac.
Modi Govt continues it’s vendetta against Sh. P. Chidambaram. Won’t deter the Congress from bringing the truth to the people.
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) February 28, 2018
Surjewala alleged that the arrest of Karti Chidambaram was a diversionary tactic by the Modi government, to hide scams and colossal corruption like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. While attacking the Modi government for Choksi, Surjewala though didn’t dwell upon the allegations of Chidambaram allegedly helping Choksi in 2014.
While spokespersons like Surjewala were crying foul over the arrest, party President Rahul Gandhi was seen evading the media when questioned about Karti’s arrest.
Also interestingly supposed anti-corruption crusader and current AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal has decided to maintain silence on Twitter over Karti’s arrest, even though it might potentially mean trouble for P Chidambaram himself.
This was unlike the Kejriwal of 2012-2013 where he was seen taking on Chidambaram at the slightest hint of foul play:
Real reason is that Chidambaram is behind denial. He is one of 15 corrupt min. He will never allow permission. Anshan is agnst these 15 min
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 5, 2012
Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid and Sibbal to grant autonomy to CBI? Some kind of a joke? All three facing serious corruption charges….
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 14, 2013
The BJP on the charges of vendetta politics has asserted that the law is taking its own course.