Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said that the ruling BJP is “afraid” of the Congress ideology.
Talking to reporters after filing his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha election at the Secretariat here, he said that there was no need to speak about central agencies like Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation to queries on whether the recent raids at his son and party MP Karti Chidambaram’s place had anything to do with his nomination to the Rajya Sabha.
“You all know how cases against Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan came to an end. Jhakrhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has come out against the Union government… that the BJP was misusing the Enforcement Directorate against him. Congress’ Lok Sabha leader Aadhir Ranjan Chowdhury has written to Speaker Om Birla (about intimidation and breach of privilege of Karti Chidambaram). You come to a conclusion on seeing all this and common people have already come to a conclusion on this.”
Asked whether the Union government was afraid of him, Chidambaram said: “I’m not a tiger or a lion to be afraid of. I am an ordinary human being, reflecting the Congress and the one who has been writing firmly and speaking out loudly on the ideology of the Congress party.”
He also said that there are only 10 seats for the Congress that can be filled when asked about the disappointment in certain sections of the party on the nominations to the upper house. Chidambaram said: “I am sure that there are many in the party who are more qualified than me.”
Asked whether the charges of the Tamil Nadu BJP that the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s conduct at a joint event with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “appalling”, he said: “The criticism is wrong as the state government has accorded warm welcome and respect to the Prime Minister when he was in Chennai to announce infrastructure projects worth Rs 31,000 crore.
“The Prime Minister spoke about his government’s achievements, that is right. Also, the CM took up the state’s requirements and funds for programmes. That is also right. I don’t understand the criticism that one was right and the other wrong.”
Chidamabaram also said that there were no forced conversions in the state and the allegations were absurd and false.
“I studied in Christian schools and colleges. There are hundreds and thousands of children studying in Christian schools. There are several generations who have benefitted from Christian schools and colleges. Nobody has tried to convert anyone and this allegation has to be nipped in the bud and I am sure that the Tamil Nadu government will nip it in the bud itself.”
Chidambaram was accompanied by State Congress Committee president, K.S. Alagiri, former state chief E.V.K.S. Elangovan, K.V. Thangabalu, S. Thirunavakarasar, and party MLAs, as well as DMK leaders and ministers, S. Duraimurugan, Ma Subramanian, and P.K. Sekar Babu.