Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi visited Delhi’s Tihar jail on Monday to meet former union minister P Chidambaram, who has been in prison since September 5 in connection with a corruption investigation.
The gesture by two of the Congress’s top leaders signaled the party’s stand that it would back its leaders all the way against what it calls politically-driven targeting.
Mr Chidambaram appreciated the visit in his tweets. “I am honoured that Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh called on me today. As long as the party is strong and brave, I will also be strong and brave,” his family tweeted on his behalf. Mr Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, who also went with the Congress leaders, said Sonia Gandhi had given “immense support” to his father and he and Dr Singh had a “long discussion about the state of the economy”. Last week, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel had met Mr Chidambaram.
Mr Chidambaram is accused of facilitating in 2007, as the country’s finance minister, a huge infusion of foreign funds into the company INX Media. Karti Chidambaram is accused of receiving kickbacks for facilitating the process.
The Chidambarams were named by INX co-founders Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who are in jail in Mumbai in connection with the murder of Indrani’s daughter Sheena Bora.
Mr Chidambaram, who celebrated his 74th birthday on Monday, “is in good health”. The former union minister has kept his Twitter timeline active from jail, targeting the government on various subjects including the economy.
This morning, he also tweeted on the grand “Howdy, Modi” event on Sunday at Houston, Texas, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump addressed a giant crowd of Indian Americans.
Mr Chidambaram picked on PM Modi’s comment, “If you ask me ‘Howdy, Modi‘, I’ll say – Bharat mein sab achha hai (everything is great in India)”.”
The former Union Minister responded: “Bharat mai sab achha hai. Except for unemployment, loss of existing jobs, lower wages, mob violence, lockdown in Kashmir and throwing Opposition leaders in prison.”
Earlier Sunday, Mr Chidambaram had also directed a jibe at the CBI for arguing in court that he was a flight risk. “I am thrilled to discover that according to some people, I will grow golden wings and fly away to the moon. I hope I will have a safe landing,” his family posted on his behalf.