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CBI raids on Stalin stopped, PM says they weren't ordered by govt

Mar 21, 2013 01:31 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi/Chennai: The UPA government, which continues to be in the line of fire after DMK's withdrawal, had to face yet another embarrassment on Thursday after the Central Bureau of Investigation raided DMK chief Karunanidhi's son MK Stalin's residence. What added to the embarrassment was that the bigwigs in the UPA disapproved of the raid, following which the raids were stopped.

MK Stalin's house was searched by the CBI in Chennai in connection with alleged illegal import of cars worth Rs 20 crore. CBI later called off the raid saying there was no FIR against Stalin and that the agency was only looking for a car on a complaint by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

Calling it political vendetta, Stalin said, "I am being targeted. It is quiet clear, why I am being targeted. We will face the case legally. I am unaware of the reasons for the CBI raid."

But the Prime Minister and other top UPA leaders were not happy with the raids. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the raids on MK Stalin unfortunate claiming the government didn't order the raids. "The timing is most unfortunate and the government did not do it," the Prime Minister said in his statement.

Upset with the CBI raids on DMK leader MK Stalin, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has questioned the minister concerned V Narayanasamy. Finance Minister P Chidambaram also said he disapproved of the CBI raids on DMK leader and Karunanidhi's son MK Stalin as it is bound to be misunderstood considering the timing. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Chidambaram said, "I strongly disapprove of the action by the CBI. It will be misunderstood. I have spoken to the minister concerned. I am not aware of the case."

Much to the UPA's anticipation, the raids were indeed termed as 'political vendetta' by many DMK leaders as well as the Opposition. "This only justifies the charge by Opposition that the government uses CBI for their benefit and to put pressure on other political parties. But we're not bothered, not afraid of all these raids. We have nothing to hide," said Elangovan.

The Bharatiya Janata Party questioned the timing of the CBI raids on DMK leader MK Stalin saying it will raise the issue in Parliament. BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said, "This raid proves that the government misuses the CBI, it's a politically-motivated raid. The government is willing to do anything to stay in power. We will raise this issue in Parliament." The Samajwadi Party also called it a political revenge. "This is a case of politics of revenge. SP will never accept this. If Congress thinks this will scare us, it is not possible," SP leader Naresh Aggarwal said.

Even as DMK leaders called it political vendetta, a very toned down reaction came from the party supremo who seemed to have been calmed by the Centre. Karunanidhi said the raids may or may not be political vendetta, and even indirectly went on to say that the raids may have been political vendetta by the Tamil Nadu government headed by Jayalalithaa and not the Centre.

"I don't want to speculate if central ministers have said they were not aware of raids. Political vendetta happens not only in center but state also," Karunanidhi said in his statement.

The CBI raids came two days after the DMK pulled out of UPA government and the party questioned the timing of the raids. DMK leader TKS Elangovan said this showed that the UPA government uses CBI for its benefit.

Big questions:

- Why did the CBI suddenly decide to stop raids against DMK's MK Stalin?

- Is it not unprecedented that senior Congress ministers are condemning the raids?

- How was P Chidambaram unaware of raids when DRI falls under his ministry?

- Is the opposition right in saying Congress's biggest ally is CBI?

- Does the CBI U-turn on DMK raids prove that it's the government's weapon of choice?