NEW DELHI: Defending party colleague and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday alleged that the cases against him are political vendetta.
Ramesh alleged that the cases against Chidambaram were taking place "to defame the former minister and in turn defame the Congress party". He said that "a kingpin in the government is hatching a conspiracy to defame the party and Chidambaram."
"If this is the philosophy, soon you will find no minister signing files. If the penalty for signing files is Tihar then no one will be signing them," he said.
He defended Chidambaram in the INX Media case, saying the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was set up in 1991. The FIPB has six secretaries in it with the Finance Secretary as the chairman.
Ramesh insisted that the INX Media proposal had been recommended by FIPB. In the finance ministry it was examined by the Under Secretary, then the Deputy Secretary, and after him the Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary, and again it was looked into by the Finance Secretary.
"This means that before Chidambaram signed the file 11 bureaucrats had signed the file, but only Chidambaram is being targeted," he said.
He said when the INX Media proposal was sent to Chidambaram, 24 more proposals were recommended. After all the recommendations were done, Chidambaram signed the file on May 28, 2007.
However, Chidambaram has made a statement on September 9 that he doesn't want any of the officers to be indicted or arrested.