'Furious' FM P. Chidambaram forces CBI to call off raids on DMK's M K Stalin

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 21 2013, 19:34pm hrs
MK StalinRaids might be in connection with alleged illegal import of cars in Chennai and other cities. (Reuters)
CBI today carried out raids at the residence of DMK chief M Karunanidhi's son M K Stalin, two days after the party pulled out of UPA, triggering a political controversy over its timing with even top central ministers strongly disapproving of the action.

Searches were carried out at 19 places across Tamil Nadu, including at Stalin's home in Chennai, this morning in a case of alleged tax evasion of imported cars.

The Congress ministers in the UPA including P Chidambaram and Kamal Nath strongly disapproved of the CBI searches, as the Centre distanced itself from the action saying it was not aware of the raids.

With opposition to the raids coming on strong, CBI called off the searches.

In his strongly worded reaction, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram "strongly disapproved" of the CBI raid, saying the action is bound to be misunderstood.

He added, "It is bound to be misunderstood," he said.

The Finance Minister said he came to know about the CBI action around 8.30 a.m and conveyed his feelings to the Minister in-charge of CBI.

V Narayanasamy, who is the Minister of State in the PMO and Department of Personnel and Training(DoPT), is the Minister in-charge of CBI.

DMK, which pulled out of UPA on Tuesday and withdrew its ministers yesterday, said the action was a "political vendetta" amid reports that the agency concluded its searches after the uproar broke out.

Chidambaram, a Lok Sabha MP from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu, said normally he does not comment on the working of another department but in this case he had to react.

Endorsing Chidambaram's views, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said," I strongly disapprove of the action against Stalin."

"This only demonstrates that Government is not dictating the CBI and it(action)is a very foolish thing. Certainly Government wouldn't do such a thing. I am very very disappointed at CBI's action," he said in Delhi.

Another Union Minister Rajiv Shukla claimed there is no government hand in the CBI raids. "We condemn it and appropriate action should be taken how these raids have been conducted and we are completely against such things," he said.

Stalin (60), considered a political heir to 88-year-old Karunanidhi, dubbed the CBI raid as a 'political vendetta' and said he would face the case legally.

BJP said the CBI searches is an example of "blatant" misuse of power by the UPA government for its survival and proves that it uses the probe agency to muffle allies who are walking out of the ruling coalition.