‘Will be strong’: Chidambaram after meeting Sonia, Manmohan

Indiatimesworld News Service

New Delhi, September 23

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi today visited their party colleague P Chidambaram in Tihar Jail and spent close to half an hour interacting with him at a personal and political level.

The leaders were accompanied by Karti Chidambaram, son of the former FM, who has been in police custody since September 5 in an alleged case of corruption related to INX Media.

After the meeting, Chidambaram’s family tweeted on his behalf, “I am honoured that Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh called on me today. As long as the @INCIndia party is strong and brave, I will also be strong and brave.”

Karti Chidambaram also thanked them for extending support to his father. “We are all honoured that the Congress president and former PM Manmohan Singh are extending their support to my father.” During the meeting, the leaders are learnt to have spoken about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Howdy Modi event” at Houston in the US and how the PM said in Houston that “everything is fine in India.”

Singh and Chidambaram are also learnt to have spoke about the consequences of the corporate tax cut and expressed concerns over the revenue losses that would occur on this count and also on the heightened burden on the government to maintain fiscal discipline.

Tweeting later, Chidambaram took a dig at PM Modi over his remarks in Houston. “Bharat mai sab achha hai. Except for unemployment, loss of existing jobs, lower wages, mob violence, lockdown in Kashmir and throwing opposition leaders in prison,” he said.

The Congress later defended Gandhi and Singh’s visit to Chidambaram in jail after the ruling BJP questioned the party’s support to a “tainted leader”. “This is a truly weird remark. Every person has legal and constitutional rights. Every person is entitled to bail. Even the family and friends of those accused of the most heinous offences go and meet them in jail. In India, we follow the law that says a person is innocent until proven guilty,” Congress leader Anand Sharma said about the visit of party top brass to Tihar Jail today.

No charges against me: Former Minister

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday told the Delhi High Court that there was no allegation against him about trying to influence anyone related to the INX Media corruption case. He made the submission while seeking bail.

 “The six secretaries were right in their decision. There was no allegation that I influenced them. I have been confronted with them. They said what they did was right. Why I am being singled out. I only accepted the recommendations and I am in jail. Those who made the recommendations are out,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal told the court on Chidambaram’s behalf. PTI

‘Is approving recommendations a crime?’

"We are concerned with continued detention in custody of our colleague. If the officers are not at fault, it is beyond our comprehension how the minister who approved the recommendation can be accused of committing an offence. If the minister is liable for approving a recommendation, the whole system of govt will collapse." —Manmohan Singh, former PM