Chidambaram arrested: CBI, ED are revenge seeking departments, says Congress
The dramatic arrest of P Chidambaram from his residence on Wednesday night forced Congress to reach out to the other Opposition parties. Soon after the former Finance Minister was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing his role in the INX Media case, Congress urged other parties to launch a collective attack on BJP-led Centre. Party leaders slammed his arrest strongly.
In an unprecedented turn of events, the Congress stalwart was taken away by CBI in a vehicle around 9:45 PM last night. To arrest Chidambaram, CBI officials scaled walls of his residence as almost the entire media of the country watched. Chidambaram is accused of facilitating FDI for INX Media, a company founded by Indrani and Peter Mukerjea, when he was the FM in UPA era.
The manner in which he was arrested miffed Congress, for obvious reasons. To note, Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi were with Chidambaram when he was taken away. Speaking on the arrest, Congress' Anand Sharma told IE, "These visuals will shock the democratic world that India can allow this to happen with state support." He called Chidambaram a law-abiding citizen.
"To go in this dramatic manner is a total assault on the fundamental rights and the rights to privacy. There are ways for the officers to walk in, to talk respectfully... in this case, a former Home Minister and a former Finance Minister... for that matter any citizen," Sharma added.
Further, Sharma added bail is Chidambaram's right. "Denial of bail is an exception. There are umpteen judgments of the Supreme Court. What has happened is a travesty of justice. The objective is to humiliate him," he said. Sharma likened Chidambaram's arrest to an "action movie and arrest of a terrorist". "It was most disgraceful. Those were unsavory images in a democratic country," he said.
The report added Congress believed it was important to dispel the notion that Chidambaram was "hiding". After his anticipatory bail plea was denied by Delhi High Court, Chidambaram had gone incommunicado of sorts, only to make an appearance at Congress HQ on Wednesday evening. "A narrative was sought to be built that Chidambaram was hiding and was running away from the law," a leader said.
Notably, top leaders of Congress Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Sibal, and Singhvi met at Ahmed Patel's residence where the decision to address press was taken. Singhvi said Chidambaram has always turned up for questioning whenever he was summoned. He said calling Chidambaram an "absconder" was unfair as he waited for SC's decision the entire day, addressed press, and walked towards his home calmly.
"While I was sad and distressed, I was also happy to see collective support... we were all required to stand together united and we did... and Chidambaram made a statement in words of studied moderation and held his head high," Singhvi went on.