CHENNAI: Former Union finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the BJP-led Union Government was scared of the ideology of the Congress party.
Talking to media persons after filing his nomination with the State Assembly secretary for the biennial Rajya Sabha election, Chidambaram said, “I don't have anything new to say about the CBI or Enforcement Directorate (ED). We know how Shah Rukh Khan’s son (Aryan Khan’s) case ended two days ago. Today, Jharkhand Chief Minister has levelled an allegation. Congress Parliamentary Party leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary has written to the Speaker. Ordinary people have come to a conclusion already. You come to a conclusion based on that.” The former union finance minister was reacting to a query about his son Karti’s statement that he was being targeted to silence his father.
Asked if the Centre fears him, a sarcastic Chidambaram wondered, “Am I a Lion or Tiger. I am a human being. I am a Congressman who reflects the Congress party, who writes and airs the ideology of the Congress party firmly and in categorical terms. I don think they fear me. I should not take pride that they fear me. They fear the ideology of the Congress.”
On a few Congress members publicly expressing disappointment at the Congress’ RS candidate selection, he said, “There are only ten seats we can win. We can only give it to ten candidates. What will you do?” When asked about a few Congress leaders suggesting that competent leaders were overlooked in some states, a reticent Chidambaram added, “How can I comment on that? I am not selecting candidates. The congress party selects the candidates. There are a number of qualified candidates. I would be the first to say that there are many more qualified candidates than I across India in the Congress.”
With regard to the BJP’s criticism about chief minister M K Stalin raising Tamil Nadu’s demand in the PM’s presence, he said, “Let me state categorically, the criticism is wrong. Tamil Nadu govt gave him due respect and reception and organized a grand function. The Prime Minister explained the achievements of his govt. That is correct. CM had explained the fund requirements for the state’s projects. That is also correct. Both spoke correctly. I don't understand the criticism at all.”
On the BJP taking offence to the use of the word ‘Union’ government, the senior Supreme Court lawyer said, “That is what the Constitution says. The Constitution used the word union and not central government. Ask them to read the constitution.” About the BJP alleging forced religious conversion in Tamil Nadu schools, he said, “From grade I to the end of my schooling and college, I was educated in Christian missionary run schools. You may also ask your parents. The generation was educated like that. No one attempted to convert anyone. There are hundreds and thousands of children studying in Christian schools. There are several generations which have benefitted from Christian schools and colleges. Nobody has attempted to convert anyone. This is an absurd and false accusation. It must be nipped in the bud. The people of Tamil Nadu will nip it in the bud.” He also added that the media should have asked the PM during his recent visit why the BJP was raising such issues.