Parliament disrupted over Chidambaram's role in telecom deal
of parliament were disrupted Tuesday morning as the opposition
raised the pitch over the alleged role of Home Minister P.
Chidambaram in helping his son get financial benefits from a
telecom deal when he was finance minister.
The Lok Sabha saw noisy disruptions, with
New Delhi: Home
Minister P. Chidambaram Thursday invoked an oft-quoted line of
Jesus Christ to dismiss the Bharatiya Janata Party's allegation
that he or his son had financially benefited from a telecom deal
in 2006 when he was finance minister.
"'Father forgive them for they know not what they do'… I pray the
god forgive their sins," Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha,
recalling a lesson a missionary teacher had taught him in his
The BJP's Yashwant Sinha, citing a newspaper report and Janata
Party chief Subramanian Swamy's allegations, had said Chidambaram
had delayed permission for the sale of Aircel to Malaysia-based
Maxis in 2006 so that his son Karthi was financially benefited.
"An honorable MP made a statement in the Lok Sabha making
allegations against me and a member of my family…the allegations
are wild and reckless," Chidambaram told reporters outside
parliament after a din over the issue led to the adjournment of
the Lok Sabha.
Swamy had earlier written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh alleging that Karthi's firm and Aircel had entered into a
"dubious transaction" in March 2006, just before Maxis' investment
of Rs.4,000 crore in the telecom company.
The Janata Party leader in his letter said Chidambaram, the then
finance minister, had ensured that the Foreign Investment
Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance on the Aircel-Maxis deal be given
only after his son's company got a share in Aircel.
But the home minister denied this. "I categorically state that
neither I nor any member of my family member has acquired or hold
any share in any telecom company. In particular, I categorically
state that neither I nor any member of my family has acquired or
hold any share in either Aircel or Maxis," Chidambaram said
reading out a statement from his son.
The statement "deeply regretted" that parliament was being
"misused to make wild and reckless allegations against a private
As Chidambaram was reading the statement in the house, he was
shouted down by the opposition that led to a ruckus, forcing the
chair to adjourn the house.
The home minister later read the statement to the media outside
"The BJP and some others raised the din. Obviously, they didn't
wish to hear the statement," a disappointed Chidambaram told
Earlier, the house was briefly disrupted over the issue when
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also leader of the Lok
Sabha, lost his cool after BJP members sought action against
Mukherjee said the opposition should not raise the same issue
again and again, referring to the disruptions last week.
Mukherjee was about to respond but quickly sat down when the
opposition members did not hear his appeal to calm down and
continued to raise slogans in the house.
Even Congress president Sonia Gandhi tried to pacify an angry