Congress MP Karti Chidambaram on Tuesday lashed out at the central government for "once again using its agencies" to accuse him of a "malicious and completely fabricated charge". Denying the allegations, the Congress leader said he "firmly" states that he is not associated with visa issue 'bribe-for-visas' scam.
In a statement, Karti Chidambaram said, "It does not intimidate me that the central government is once again using its agencies to accuse me of a malicious and completely fabricated charge. Previously, the agencies have gone after me based on the statement of an undertrial murder suspect."
"Now, they are basing their bogus charges on the alleged actions of a deceased person, whom I have never met. I intend to continue to fight every one of their motivated attempts to target my father through me," he added.
"For what it's worth, however, I firmly state that I am not associated with this visa issue directly, indirectly, vicariously or even telepathically! The allegations against me by the CBI are ludicrous, to say the least. I categorically deny all of them," he further stated.
"Further, I know no person who has the authority to issue such visas. I have also never known the person (now deceased) whose alleged action triggers this charge. He has never been examined by the CBI, and now, never can be. -In the last 7 years, I've been raided 6 times, without cause or evidence by the central government's agencies, which have sadly become a single party's machinery to fulfil its political vendetta," he added.
Last week, Karti Chidambaram's home and offices were searched by the CBI in connection with a corruption case for allegedly helping Chinese people in getting visas by flouting the rules. Seven premises linked to Karti Chidambaram and his associates were searched across Chennai, Mumbai, Odisha, and Delhi.
Meanwhile, Karti's close associate S Bhaskararaman has been arrested. As per the CBI, Bhaskararaman was the frontman for Karti and allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 50 lakh to facilitate visas for 263 Chinese nationals in violation of the norms of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Mansa company representative Vikas Makharia had approached Chidambaram through Bhaskararaman and thereafter they devised a back-door way to defeat the purpose of the ceiling (maximum of project visas permissible to the company’s plant).
A Delhi court, meanwhile, has directed the CBI to give a three-day prior notice to Karti Chidambaram if it is required to arrest him.