Only the Congress and a few Opposition parties have been calling it political vendetta, but reports quoting agency sources in New Delhi reveal disturbing news about your family almost every day, especially reports about your overseas (asset) holdings…
What is the case (INX Media case) all about?
First, they should establish an illegality. Only then there is a case. My (property) holdings, if there are any, is a different issue. Case is not a leak in media or newspaper. If they have a case, why have they not filed a chargesheet so far. They are doing this for political reasons. Why is it taking them so long for an issue that took place in 2007? If they have evidence, they should file a chargesheet. Media leaks are meaningless. I reiterate, it is political vendetta. If this not, what else is?
Your reasoning was premised on the CBI’s delay in filing FIR and a chargesheet so far. The CBI has now informed the court that it will file the chargesheet against your father by the end of September. How do you respond to that?
So, what. They can file a chargesheet. They have filed a chargesheet in Aircel-Maxis. Unless a competent court takes cognizance of the chargesheet, it is nothing. Let a competent court take cognizance, then I will respond.
Both agencies have claimed that they have culled out new evidence in INX Media case...
What should I respond to? Let the agency come out on what evidence or case they have first. Let them file an affidavit in the court officially. Why should it always be sources? They should have official spokesperson. Why does such information come from unnamed sources in select media?
Even your lawyers were critical of the way the court had handled bail pleas. Earlier, the Delhi HC judge had described your father as ‘Kingpin’ while rejecting his bail…. Are you satisfied with the way the case is proceeding?
I cannot comment on the court or the proceedings. I cannot speak for the lawyers. Both Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi are very senior and eminent lawyers with vast experience. Every judge has his own language. It is just obiter dictum. I would suggest you to read the verdict of Justice R S Garg in the Delhi High Court dated March 23, 2018. Also, this is not trial. I have gone through this process for bail too. It was only anticipatory bail proceeding.
Do you fear that the steady flow of reports about INX Media and Aircel-Maxis scams would jeopardise your political career?
I was taken in custody last year, well before the last Lok Sabha election. What happened then? Everybody in Tamil Nadu knows this is political vendetta.
There is a general perception that the Congress party was trying to distance from Chidambaram and the case to control the damage…
No. It is false and baseless. Our leader Sonia Gandhi talks to me regularly. Congress spokespersons talk to me regularly. Just because there is no violent protest, it does not mean that the party is not with us. We don’t throw stones. We have a different DNA in the Congress. Even on Monday we held protest in Pondycherry (against arrest).
But the reactions were different (violent) in Karnataka after D K Shivakumar’s arrest…
In Karnataka our strength is different. We were in power. How can we compare the reaction in two states? It is an unfair comparison.
Your opponents, mainly the AIADMK, have attributed the lowkey protests in Tamil Nadu to lack of support for your father at the grassroots…
Those opponents have not won seven elections like my father did. Without Jayalalithaa they are nothing. They have an identity because of the grace of Jayalalithaa.
Even your ally the DMK was content with offering some lip-service. M K Stalin’s initial reaction was, “Chidambaram is a legal luminary. He knows how to wriggle out of it.” A few DMK members had even claimed that A Raja and Kanimozhi’s arrest happened at your father’s insistence. Do you suspect that the DMK was silently celebrating the arrest?
Not at all. Kanimozhi talks to me regularly. Their leaders are with us. What else can you expect from ally. One should not get into semantics. The DMK is the only regional party steadfastly opposing Modi and the BJP. I cannot comment on what a few people say. We are in an alliance. We had a very successful election. Our alliance continues.
Statements of DMK president M K Stalin and your state party chief K S Alagiri, especially on ensuing Assembly election and Nanguneri byelection, seem not to demonstrate the bonhomie between the two parties? Stalin says, the DMK would win 200 seats on its own…
Why should we talk about seat-sharing now? Assembly election is more than a year away. Nanungeri will be decided jointly.