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Chidambaram lashes out at govt after raids on firm linked to son

New Delhi: Hours after raids were conducted in Chennai on a firm linked to former Union Minister P Chidambaram’s son, the senior Congress leader slammed the government for its “malicious onslaught”, calling upon the Centre to target him directly, instead of harassing his family members.

Two raids were conducted by the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department in Chennai and one of them was on Advantage Strategic Consulting, a company with which Karti Chidambaram, the minister’s son, was reportedly associated earlier.

“If the Government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics,” the former union minister said in a statement, adding, “My family and I are quite prepared to face the malicious onslaught launched by the Government.”

According to reports, two directors of Advantage Strategic Consulting had been summoned by the ED in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case and charges of money laundering.

The investigating agencies are reportedly probing an alleged financial transaction of more than Rs 200 crore between these two companies raided on Tuesday and Aircel Maxis just before clearance came from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board or FIPB for the Aircel merger. The case is a part of the overall probe into the 2G scam being monitored by the Supreme Court.

Here’s the full text of Chidambaram’s statement:

I am traveling and I have been informed about searches conducted on certain firms in Chennai allegedly linked to my son.

If the Government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics.

We have made it clear, repeatedly, that no member of my family has any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted. They are companies that are professionally managed and are capable of answering any questions that may be put to them by the authorities. I condemn the attempt to link them to my son and harass them on that ground.

The agenda of the Government is being implemented by an officer of the Enforcement Directorate who has a pending dispute with the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. Orders in his case were apparently passed during the term of my predecessor. He met me and wanted me to intervene in his favour. I declined and I told him that I cannot reverse orders that were issued during the term of my predecessor. The change of Government has given him an opportunity to misuse his powers to harass my son and his friends.

My family and I are quite prepared to face the malicious onslaught launched by the Government.

P. Chidambaram

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