NEW DELHI: Congress and senior party leader P Chidambaram slammed Modi government for “unleashing vicious vendetta” against the opposition after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the residences of the former finance minister and his son in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Chidambaram accused the government of misusing the probe agency and asserted that he would not bend or break and would “continue to speak and write”.
Speaking to reporters at his Jor Bagh residence in Delhi, Chidambaram termed the raids “a comedy of errors” and claimed the officers were left “embarrassed” and “apologetic” as they could not find anything at his house.
“Since they had the search warrant, I did not object to the search but I said I will record my protest that there is no FIR in respect of the scheduled crime...there are obviously no proceeds of crime and the ED has no jurisdiction under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA),” he said.
In a statement, former Union minister said the ED found nothing in its searches at his residence in Delhi as well as his family's residence in Chennai.
"The panchnamas (seizure notes) speak for themselves," he said.
Chidambaram said the Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the ED in cases where the submission is that the probe agency had no jurisdiction to conduct any investigation in the so-called Aircel-Maxis case. The ED was asked to file its reply and the cases were adjourned to January 30.
"There is no FIR against me or my son in the Aircel-Maxis case. There is no predicate scheduled offence. Hence the ED has no jurisdiction. Yet the ED, at the instance of the government, continues to misuse its powers,” he said.
The former minister added, "I belong to the opposition party. Let the government misuse the ED. I shall neither bend nor break and I shall continue to speak and write."
Attacking the government, Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said the raids were part of a “continuing vicious vendetta unleashed by Modi government against Congress and other opposition leaders”.
He alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government were using agencies including ED and CBI as “captive puppets” to settle political scores and intimidate political opponents.
“In fact, 'raid raj' has become the DNA' of the Modi government. We again reiterate that Congress leaders will not be cowed down or bow in face of such malicious and wilful attempts to browbeat and bulldoze,” he added.