The Union Central government on Tuesday defended CBI raids on former Congress minister P Chidambaram, his son and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad's residences and businesses asserting that it had nothing to do with them.
The home of Chidambaram and his son Karti were among more than a dozen places raided by the CBI on Tuesday morning after an FIR named the latter as an accused in foreign-investment approvals granted in 2008 to a company owned by former media tycoon Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea, who are in jail in connection with the murder of Indrani's daughter Sheena Bora.
It alleged that Karti received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it in a case of violation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board conditions for an investment from Mauritius.
■ Karti Chidambaram: "They have not seized any documents and can not prove any charges against me".
Surjewala, instead, accused the BJP and its leaders of being corrupt as he highlighted the alleged scams involving top party leaders holding ministerial positions in this government. "There is no allegation against me", he added.
The Congress mounted a strong defence of Chidambaram and maintained the CBI raids on premises owned by him and his son Karti in Chennai were part of the BJP's larger design to target and hound political opponents.
"In its three years, the BJP has given the nation an honest, scam-free government, a decisive leader and a pro-poor thrust on governance". "The truth is that revenge has become the DNA of the BJP government".
The reports quoted IT officials as saying that the raids were being conducted in the premises of some prominent businessmen and real estate agents in Delhi, Gurgaon, Rewari and few others. "There are millions of thousands of Lalus in Bihar", the RJD chief and former Bihar CM said on Twitter sounding a warning, asking the BJP to "be careful".
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed as "political vendetta" the raids on Chidambaram's son and Lalu and said she had discussed the issue with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Karti Chidambaram has denied all the charges made against him.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Law Minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, was more forthcoming in targeting Chidambaram: "Cannot expect anything else from Chidambaram". We will continue to fight for the people of this country. Lalu ki awaz dabayenge to desh bhar me karoron Lalu khare ho jayenge. Such a case will also open doors for ED to possibly attach assets in the case. Land worth crores of rupees was grabbed for a pittance.