ED abusing power at behest of govt, won’t bow down: P. Chidambaram

New Delhi: The Congress and its leader P. Chidambaram on Saturday accused the government of “unleashing vicious vendetta” against the opposition after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out raids at the residence of the former Union minister in New Delhi in connection with its money laundering probe in the Aircel-Maxis case.

Chidambaram accused the ED of misusing its power at the behest of the government. He said he would not succumb to pressure and continue to speak and write. He spoke to reporters outside his Jorbagh residence, hours after the ED conducted searches at 10 premises linked to his son Karti Chidambaram in connection with the probe.

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 told reporters.

Later, in a statement, he said there is no predicate scheduled offence and hence the ED has no jurisdiction. “Yet the ED, at the behest of the government, continues to misuse its powers. Let the government misuse the ED. I shall neither bend nor break and I shall continue to speak and write,” Chidambaram said.

In a separate statement, All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of media 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 said.

Sat, Jan 13 2018. 07 38 PM IST

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