Chargesheet against Chidambaram is Congress' Nawaz Sharif moment, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the BJP head office in New Delhi on Sunday

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday launched a scathing attack against the Congress asking party president Rahul Gandhi to come clean on the action taken by the Income Tax Department on the former finance minister P. Chidambaram for allegedly having undisclosed assets overseas.

Addressing a press conference, Sitharaman drew parallels between Chidambaram's case and that of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has been barred from holding public office for life by that country's Supreme Court for not disclosing assets overseas. "The parallels can not be missed in this case. I am wondering if for Congress party in India, we are seeing the Nawaz Sharif moment", said Sitharaman.

Defence minister's comment came after Income-Tax (I-T) department had informed a special court in Chennai that former Union minister P Chidambaram's wife Nalini, son Karti and daughter-in-law Srinidhi didn't disclose their foreign assets and investments while filing their I-T returns.

Sitharaman wanted to know if Rahul Gandhi would investigate this as he has been highlighting corruption charges against BJP leaders.

She asked whether Congress president Rahul Gandhi would investigate the issue involving a senior leader.

Sitharaman also shared her two cents on Nawaz Sharif's explosive interview with Dawn where he claimed that Pakistan could have prevented the 2018 Mumbai terror attack.

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Sitharaman said the law on black money was brought in by the Modi Government because it had pledged before the last Lok Sabha elections to fight unaccounted for money held in India and overseas. In his tweet, Chidambaram wrote, "The buzz in Delhi is that Ms Nirmala Sitaraman will be removed as Defence Minister and appointed as lawyer of the Income-tax department". In a series of tweets, Chidambaram took potshots at Sitharaman, stating that she would soon be removed as the Defence Minister and would be appointed as a lawyer of the Income-tax department. "Welcome to the bar, Ms Sitaraman", he tweeted. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. "This explains why despite Supreme Court's orders, Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram dragged their feet on formation of SIT... how could they indict their own selves?"

On the other hand, BJP president Amit Shah too cited the chargesheets filed by the I-T department against Chidambaram's family members to allege they had illegal assets worth 3 billion dollars. Congress Spokesman Pawan Khera said.

"When will the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister respond to the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale scam?"

"The Defence Minister only comes out to defend her party and colleagues".

On Chidambaram, Khera said: "His chartered accountant had given a detailed reply, saying all the disclosures had duly been made and that the income-tax department was making baseless charges".

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