Karti Chidambaram's arrest: Congress says, PM diverting from corruption scandals
Slamming the graft allegations against P Chidambaram's son Karti, Congress claimed that PM Narendra Modi is desperately trying to divert people's attention from the corruption scandals tumbling out of BJP's closet. Congress spokesman, Randeep Surjewala was referring to diamond jewelers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya fleeing the country after duping Indian banks under Modi's regime. Here's more about it.
First off, what is the case against Karti?
Karti apparently used his influence as the then finance minister, P Chidabaram's son to let INX media gain Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval for foreign investments. Though INX was entitled to only Rs. 4.62cr foreign investment, they brought in Rs. 305cr. For this, Karti purportedly received Rs. 10L from INX as "consultancy charges." However, some reports suggest a fatter kickback of Rs. 90cr.
How did Congress defend Karti?
Surjewala criticized CBI as being BJP's lackey. He claimed that there was a 10yr time-lag between the FIPB approval and FIR lodged. He added that Chidambarams were not shareholders in companies related to the deal. He further declared that the approval was a joint decision by central government's six senior-most secretaries and then-FIPB Chairman Subbarao. He said none of them have been questioned.
Instead, Congress mocked Modi's "mask" of "crusader against corruption"
Meanwhile, Surjewala, in a no-holds barred attack, claimed that Modi government's "mask" of "crusader against corruption" was shattered after scams worth Rs. 32,000cr slipped out in last 10 days. He alleged collusion between government and "scamsters like 'Chhota Modi No.1' (Lalit Modi) and 'Chhota Modi No.2' (Nirav)." Further, he accused Modi of a "political witch-hunt" to divert attention from "Ni-Mo-Choksi" and crony capitalism.
Meanwhile, what does Karti's arrest imply?
The PNB scam added to BJP's woes putting it on the defensive. However, with Karti's arrest, BJP makes a comeback of sorts, taking action against scam-tainted Congressis. This narrative helped them wrest power in 2014. Meanwhile, this time around, Congress is also on the offensive, calling this a "diversionary tactic." As the Budget session's second half begins, a barrage of fireworks can be expected.