Modi government diverting attention from bank fraud: Congress

New Delhi, Feb 28 After the CBI arrested Karti Chidambaram, the Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of a "political witch hunt, vendetta and malicious intent" to divert attention from the PNB fraud and other scams.

The Congress said that the move came amidst the party's intense campaign to pin down the Modi government on the "culture of colossal corruption and cronyism". 

With the second half of the monsoon session of Parliament to begin in a few days and the Karnataka assembly election to be held in the first half of this year, the Congress will ask questions from the BJP over the issue.

It said that the "political persecution of P. Chidambaram and the arrest of his son by a puppet CBI acting to serve the agenda of its political masters, is nothing but a cog in this wheel". 

The party also alleged that in the past 10 days, scams worth Rs 31,691 crore have been exposed.

"Modi government's mask of corruption crusader lies in shambles with successive scams getting uncovered over last 45 months and zero action against fraudsters," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

"Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have fled the country, duping 30 banks of Rs 22,606 crore and common people of an estimated Rs 5,000 crore through ponzi money for gold schemes," Surjewala added.

He said the Modi government was following old tricks in the book of using a political witch hunt, vendetta and malicious intent to deflect the heat from unprecedented bank scams.

The party said the facts of the case completely uncover the sinister diversionary tactics of the government.

"CBI interrogated Karti Chidambaram twice in August, 2017 and he cooperated fully. Yet out of the blue, arrest has been made," Surjewala said. 

Neither P. Chidambaram or Karti Chidambaram or any other family member has ever been a shareholder or director or investor in either Advantage Strategic Consulting or INX Media, he said.

The party also said that Chidambaram has always maintained that none of his family members ever intervened in the functioning of his ministry.

Surjewala asked: "P. Chidambaram and his son have already filed a case in the Supreme Court. It was last heard on February 23 and has been adjourned to March 6. Isn't this, then, a prelude to preventing adjudication?"