Indian police on Thursday charged a top opposition leader P Chidambaram with abuse of power in a multi-billion dollar scandal when he was finance minister.
Chidambaram confirmed the charge and said he would ‘vigorously’ contest the case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation anti-corruption watchdog.
The CBI accused the former minister of abusing power in allowing foreign investment by Malaysian group Maxis in telecom company Aircel in 2006.
Chidambaram, a senior leader of the opposition Congress party, said in a tweet, ‘CBI has been pressured to file a charge sheet to support a preposterous allegation against me and officers with a sterling reputation.’
‘The case is now before the Hon’ble Court and it will be contested vigorously. I shall make no more public comment.’
The CBI has alleged that Chidambaram approved the
half billion dollar Aircel-Maxis deal when it should have been referred to a cabinet committee.
The charge came one day before an opposition no-confidence vote in parliament against the government of prime minister Narendra Modi.
Chidambaram served twice as finance minister and also as home minister in the Congress-led coalition which was defeated by Modi’s nationalist party in 2014.
Congress officials have been hit by a string of corruption scandals dating from their time in government.
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