Torrential rain is lashing Chennai and in the middle of it all, another storm: A joint team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax (IT) department on Tuesday searched the premises of companies allegedly connected to Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, in Chennai.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTIFormer Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. PTI

Sources have told The Indian Express that the search has connection with an alleged money laundering, tax avasion and forex violations in the Aircel Maxis deal.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram called the search a “malicious onslaught” by the ruling BJP government. He said no one from his family has “any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted”. Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd and Vasan Eye Care were the companies on the IT and ED radar Tuesday.

In the Aircel-Maxis case, ED had questioned former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanithi in December last year after the agency had probed financial transactions of their Sun Network group companies.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley as leader of opposition in May 2012 had accused P Chidambaram that a firm owned by his family member had allegedly made payments to Aircel. This deal came up just before the telecom company had received major investment from Malaysian firm Maxis and the ownership changed.

“If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics…My family and I are quite prepared to face the malicious onslaught launched by the government,” he said in a statement shortly after reports of the IT and ED searches.

The senior Congress leader said that he was travelling and had been informed about raids conducted on certain firms in Chennai which are allegedly linked to his son Karti.

“We have made it clear, repeatedly, that no member of my family has any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted.” He added that the companies are professionally managed and can provide answers to suitable authorities. “I condemn the attempt to link them to my son and harass them on that ground,” he said.

Chidambaram alleged that the agenda of the government is being implemented by an officer of the Enforcement Directorate who has a pending dispute with the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

“Orders in his case were apparently passed during the term of my predecessor. He met me and wanted me to intervene in his favour. I declined and I told him that I cannot reverse orders that were issued during the term of my predecessor…The change of government has given him an opportunity to misuse his powers to harass my son and his friends,” the former Finance Minister said.


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Chidambaram slams BJPs ‘malicious onslaught’ as ED, IT raid companies linked to his son