Srinagar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) searched the homes and offices of former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son on Tuesday as part of a wider probe into alleged criminal misconduct in approving foreign investments in India, media reports said.
The dawn raids saw officers swoop down on 17 locations across New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai and Chidambaram’s hometown Chennai, escalating pressure on the senior Congress leader who has been a vocal opponent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, the reports said.
The CBI investigation relates to a deal between telecom players Aircel and the Malaysia-headquartered Maxis group, and investments received by media group INX News. Chidambaram was the finance minister when the two foreign direct investment proposals were cleared.
Chidambaram, 71, and his son Karti deny any wrongdoing.
“The government is using CBI and other agencies to target my son and his friends. The government wants to silence my voice,” Chidambaram said in a statement shortly after the raids began, the report added.
“The government wants to stop me from writing, as it has tried to with leaders of opposition parties, journalists, columnists, NGOs and civil society members.” says Chidambaram who writes a weekly column in a prominent English daily.
Tuesday’s raids stem from litigation brought by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who says Chidambaram abused his office to circumvent rules and approve the Aircel-Maxis deal, the reports said.