The BJP kept up the pressure on home minister P Chidambaram over alleged connection of his son Karti to the controversial Aircel-Maxis telecom deal that received a foreign investment clearance when the minister held the finance portfolio. An emotional home minister reiterated that no member of his family “have any equity at any time indirectly or directly or have any investment in any telecom company, including Aircel or Maxis.”
Facing leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley’s pointed questions on links between a company that had dealings with Aircel and Karti, the home minister said, “It would be much simpler if somebody took a dagger and plunged into my heart rather than questioning my integrity.”
Jaitley quickly retorted that “our concern is not to plunge a dagger in somebody’s heart, the purity and fairness of government should be maintained.”
Government backed the home minister, with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee telling Lok Sabha that Chidambaram was not involved in any wrongdoing. The exchanges between the two lawyers remained cordial. Jaitley did not take Karti’s name , leading Chidambaram to compliment his “friend of 22 years” for the manner in which he had raised the issue. But the civility did not take away from the intensity of the debate. The exchange held the upper House in rapt attention.