NEW DELHI – Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday met P Chidambaram at Tihar Jail, where he has been lodged since September 5 in connection with the INX media case.
The two Congress leaders were accompanied by Karti Chidambaram, the former finance minister’s son who is also a Lok Sabha MP.
Chidambaram, who had asked his family to tweet on his behalf, said he was honoured that the two leaders visited him.
“I am honoured that Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh called on me today. As long as the Congress party is strong and brave, I will also be strong and brave,” he tweeted.
He also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “Everything is fine in India” remark, saying, “Bharat mai sab achha hai. Except for unemployment, loss of existing jobs, lower wages, mob violence, lockdown in Kashmir and throwing Opposition leaders in prison.”
The prime minister at the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Houston on Sunday said, “Energy of NRG (stadium) is a witness of synergy between India and the US…My answer to ‘Howdy, Modi’ is only this: Everything is Fine in India”.
Karti Chidambaram expressed his gratitude to the two Congress leaders for meeting his father.
“My father and I are extremely grateful to Congress president Sonia Gandhiji and former prime minister Manmohan Singhji for visiting us today. This will give us the strength and support in this political fight,” he told PTI after the meeting.
The meeting lasted for the full allotted time of around half-an-hour, sources said.
The party “fully” stands behind Chidambaram and will fight the case politically, the sources quoted Gandhi as having said during the meeting.
Chidambaram also discussed at length with Singh the corporate tax cut and GST concessions announced by the government, according to the sources.
The two held detailed discussions on these economic issues and their repercussions on the country’s economy, they said.
According to the sources, it was discussed during the meeting that the revenue loss due to the tax relief would not be Rs 1.4 lakh crore, as claimed by the government, because all corporates do not pay corporate tax at the highest rate.
The visiting leaders also enquired about Chidambaram’s health and welfare, they said.
Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma called it a “weird statement” when asked about BJP’s accusation that the Congress is “standing behind corruption”.
He said the Indian laws are clear that till the time anyone is found guilty in the court, the accused is innocent.
They are only accused and they have constitutional rights to speak out and get bail, Sharma said.
“Those who are in jail for serious offences, their family and close friends also meet them in jail. It is surprising that even family members of BJP leaders, who were in jail, have been going to meet them.
“Chidambaram is a senior Congress leader, he has been a former finance minister for a long time, a former Home minister of India, and Sonia Gandhi and the former PM went to meet him, I think no one should have objections to it,” Sharma said.
Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ahmed Patel had also met P Chidambaram at Tihar Jail last week.