India charges former finance minister Chidambaram with corruption

P. Chidambaram confirms the charge, says he would 'vigorously' contest the case

AFP July 19, 2018
Former finance minister P. Chidambaram. Chidambaram confirms the charge, says he would 'vigorously' contest the case. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

NEW DELHI: 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 (CBI) 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.

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Chidambaram, a senior leader of the opposition Congress party, said in a tweet,

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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