PC and Son Give Congress a Splitting Headache

Singhvi defends Chidambaram on Ishrat affidavit row; Hanumantha Rao blames Karti for ‘dragging them on to the road’ in Telangana

Published: 02nd March 2016 03:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2016 04:15 AM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: The Chidambar­ams cornered, had Congress divided on Tuesday. Reacting to revelations of Karti Chidambaram’s business empire, senior leader V Hanumantha Rao accused P Chidambaram’s son of harming the party in Andhra-Telangana by foisting Kiran Kumar Reddy as chief minister of the undivided state.

Launching a no holds barred attack, Rao claimed it was Karti who got Reddy appointed as CM of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, who later utterly damaged the Congress in the run up to the formation of Telangana.

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Rao alleged, “Today, we, the Congress, are on the road beca­use of Chidambaram’s son Karti. He exercised his influence in the selection of a CM in Andhra, who ultimately went against the Congress Working Committee’s decision and that of party president Sonia Gandhi.”

Appearing quite agitated, Rao went on to add, “What happened thence? After creation of Telangana, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao is ruling over it, while N Chandrababu Naidu is ruling over Andhra Pradesh, and we are on the road. It is all because of Chidambaram’s son whose name is Karti!”

Throughout the day, the party faced embarrassment in both Houses of Parliament as AIADMK MPs raised slogans demanding action against Karti for his alleged involvement in the Aircel-Maxis deal and also his real estate empire.

The Congress had to also fight allegations that Chidambaram as Home Minister had changed the second affidavit on the Ishrat Jahan ‘encounter’ case to remove references to her LeT links, without concurrence of then home secretary GK Pillai. This was revealed by the latter in a TV interview a few days ago. Another former under-secretary of the Home Ministry, RVS Mani, Tuesday claimed he was coerced to sign the second affidavit, drafted by Chidambaram. Mani claimed he was tortured by IPS officer Satish Verma to sign other unverified papers.

With senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing a special briefing in his party headquarters to attack the Congress for “a clear case of subversion of national security”, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi countered the allegations saying what the Congress and then Union government questioned was the “fake encounter”. Even if she had connections with the LeT, Jahan deserved a trial just as Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab, he said.

High Court allows Vanzara in Gujarat

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday modified the conditions of the bail of former Gujarat police officer and alleged fake encounter accused DG Vanzara, to allow him to enter the state of Gujarat. Vanzara, accused in the “staged” encounter killing of Sohrabbudin Shaikh when he was in the Gujarat state anti-terror squad, was allowed bail by the high court in this case in September 2014, but with the condition that he stay in Mumbai.


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