If the government blandly denies a rumour or suspicion, it must be true. Denial, denial, denial. Who’s better at the job than P. Chidambaram?
“...P. Chidambaram is too smart a man to lie to Parliament. If he says that the government has not ordered taps on those whose conversations Outlook claims were monitored, then he knows what he is talking about.” That is Radia-tainted Vir Sanghvi in his post on the phone tapping issue exposed by Outlook (April 2010)
“I wish to state that no telephone tapping or eavesdropping on political leaders was authorised by either the UPA-I or II” Chidambaram said. (April 2010). Denial. It may be the correct answer, but not the right answer. The media never asks the question. Who authorised it?
The phones of some prominent political leaders including Sharad Pawar and Digvijay Singh have been tapped, the Outlook magazine had claimed. The phones of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat have also been tapped by the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), an intelligence agency created in the aftermath of the Kargil war to cover all aspects of technical intelligence gathering, according to the magazine. Apparently, the NTRO does not imply “government”. Therefore PC’s denial.
It is some strange co-incidence that PC was the Finance Minister when the first round of Radia’s phone tapping started in August 2008. When the second round started in May 2009 he was the Home Minister and still is. It is the CBDT which had requested the surveillance. A board under PC’s ministry, and the approving Home Secretary works under Home Ministry. Al Capone, the infamous gangster and bootlegger was finally put away for tax evasion. Fair enough, put away a known criminal under any reason. Is that what PC’s Finance Ministry then and Home Ministry later were trying to do? Were they trying to put away people who threatened national security for evading taxes?
The new CVC, P.J. Thomas was appointed by a panel consisting the Prime Minister and, of course, P.Chidambaram. It appears very convenient to have a CVC overseeing the 2G scam investigation who had been a Telecom Secretary under the very A.Raja who resigned because of the scam. On being asked if the new CVC had offered to resign because he is tainted with an old palm oil scam, PC’s response? Denial. The argument being that CVC Thomas has not been convicted of anything yet. Well two of the panelists appointing this CVC, Manmohan Singh and P. Chidambaram have not been charge-sheeted or convicted of anything yet. Are they clean? PC might as well advise someone to leave his or her child in the care of an accused pedophile, because he hasn’t been convicted yet. Would you take that advice? Yet these two would leave the nation’s well being through an investigating office to a tainted man. Even the SC has raised eyebrows over this, but MMS and PC are supposedly “clean”. That this CVC will recuse himself from the spectrum investigations is another eye-wash.
Spectrum shares being resold to a mid-east company called Etisalat should have raised the eyebrows of anyone concerned with national security. But any word ever from PC? Not to my knowledge. I am confident some story about Etisalat will soon be out in the open.
Around November 29 there were reports all around that the Government had ordered an inquiry into the Radia tapes leak. PC’s response on November 30? Once again, Denial. He clarified that this was being looked into by the CBDT or being investigated. Well CBDT doesn’t mean "government" so PC’s denial was right again. Surprisingly, even this “inquiry”, “investigation” or “looking into” came after Ratan Tata’s petition in the SC. Else, everything was fine. If all that wasn’t enough, here are excerpts from a letter allegedly written by Subramanian Swamy to the PM on November 27 which is floating on the internet. I suppose with all the surveillance capabilities under his command PC is unaware of this or we might have our cup of denials overflowing by now.
Excerpts from Subramanian Swamy’s purported letter to Prime Minister on 27/11/2010:
1. I am happy that you finally acted and went over the head of your Home Minister P.Chidambaram (who malafide vacillated), to order the arrest of Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Mr.Ravi Inder Singh IAS., for betraying the country.
2. It is now high time for you to consider all my earlier letters regarding Mr.Chidambaram, regarding his being guilty of conduct unbecoming of a Minister.
3. You may also be aware of what I wrote to you about a lady IAS officer in Finance Ministry whose husband (also IAS) had requested her transfer of posting because she was being harassed.
4. I have been recently informed by my friends in London that the British Intelligence MI-6 had video photographed Mr.Chidambaram while he(was) in the company of an escort service European girl provided by an Indian company with which he has had a formal fiduciary relation, as a paid Director.
5. But now, it is disturbing to learn that your Government has through Mr.Chidambaram conveyed approval to J&K CM Omar Abdullah to allow return from PoK of all those who had left the troubled State since 1989.
6. Most of all, as a safeguard, I urge you to obtain the resignation of Mr.Chidambaram because has de-facto become a national security risk
Read the full contents here, or any search on the net will provide copies of the full letter. The PM’s silence on Swamy’s letters have caused enough trouble for the Congress and the UPA. Now, with allegations as serious as those above, are we going to see more dirt come up. Chidambaram’s private life and adventures are of no concern to me, but he must respond to the other allegations as also should the ‘conscience-dead’ Manmohan Singh.
Mobina Gupta writes at Kafila.Org: "One of the anecdotes doing the rounds among journalists at the moment goes like this: A certain politician-unfriendly journalist asks P Chidambaram whether the Congress is embarrassed by the SC’s observation about the PM’s inaction on the A Raja corruption issue. Chidambaram quips back: Are you in the media embarrassed about the tapes?"
A. Raja may have processed the swindling of the nation. But the real 'AXIS OF EVIL' could well be 'Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram'. Will Mr. Chidambaram now come clean?