Ishrat Jahan case: Now, Sonia defends Chidambaram

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Amid the furore over former undersecretary RVS Mani’s revelations in the Ishrat Jahan case, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday told her party MPs that former home minister P Chidambaram has already explained his position, adding that the grand old party has been targeted since it has been in the government.

“Chidambaram ji has already explained. We have been targeted since we were in government,” Gandhi said at a Congress strategy meeting in New Delhi.

In a revelation that has the potential to spark a fresh political row and disrupt the functioning of the Parliament, Mani on Tuesday claimed that he did not draft the second affidavit and had been ordered to sign the file in the Ishrat Jahan case.

His claims came days after former home secretary GK Pillai alleged that Chidambaram bypassed him and rewrote the second affidavit submitted to a court in this connection.

Taking a dig at the NDA Government, the Congress on Tuesday asked whether it is trying to subvert a court-monitored investigation and helping the accused in the Ishrat Jahan case.

“The fundamental question is why are the highest echelon of the Indian government trying to subvert a court-monitored investigation into a fake encounter case? Do they want to help the accused be let off the hook or are the accused pressurizing them,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI.

Last week, Pillai had said that the affidavit in Ishrat case was changed at the political level.

Chidambaram earlier on Monday said the revised affidavit was absolutely correct, adding he accepts full responsibility for the affidavit as a minister.

Citing intelligence reports, Chidambaram had as the home minister submitted an affidavit in the Gujarat High Court in August 2009, which referred to Ishrat’s alleged links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

However, a revised affidavit was filed within a month in which all references to Ishrat’s alleged terror links were missing.

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