Chidambaram takes on Modi for targetting Congress, raises Ishrat Jahan case

New Delhi, June 5 (ANI): Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday hit back at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for targetting the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre following the verdict of the by-polls in the latter's state, and said what matters is the kind of candidate one wins with.

"You win with what kind of candidates. You win with a candidate who is a defector and who is an accused, a gun-totting politician, you win with him. Fine, people have voted the BJP, I have no complaints. I congratulate the BJP for winning the by-election, but I don't think this is something about which you need to be proud of," Chidambaram said in his interaction with the media here.

The BJP registered a significant win in the Porbandar Lok Sabha seat where Vithhal Radadia, who was caught brandishing his gun at a toll booth last year when he was a Congress MP and later crossed over BJP, won the seat with over 1,28,000 votes.

Earlier in the day, Modi lashed out at the Congress Party following the Bharatiya Janata Party's victory in the state by-polls, saying it is an ultimatum to the government sitting in Delhi ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Modi, who was talking to mediapersons here on the sidelines of the chief ministers' conference on internal security, said the people of Gujarat have given a fitting reply to the Congress Party.

"There was by-election in Gujarat for four state assembly seats and two Lok Sabha seats. All six seats were earlier with the Congress. Today, the people of Gujarat have given the Bharatiya Janata Party a glowing victory. The Congress Party had to face a very appalling situation. The Bharatiya Janata Party registered a grand victory in the two Lok Sabha seats," said Modi.

"The defeat of the Congress in the two Lok Sabha seats is a message of direct anger of the people ahead of the 2014 polls and it is an ultimatum to the government (sitting) in Delhi," he added.

In Gujarat, the BJP won the Porbandar and Banaskantha Lok Sabha seats where by-elections were held on Sunday. It also emerged victorious in the four state assembly seats, where the counting of votes concluded today. .

The verdict of the by-elections have come as a major blow for the Congress Party as all six seats were held by it.

Chidambaram further alleged that Modi and other BJP leaders are interfering with the CBI probe in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

"I think the Gujarat Chief Minister and some other BJP leaders are interfering with the CBI investigation. It is the CBI , under directions from the Supreme Court, which is questioning certain people. One of them who has been questioned is a former police officer of Gujarat, currently a serving officer of IB. That's the CBI's decision and this is court monitored. Why accuse the Government of India or Congress Party?" said Chidambaram.

"On the contrary, such statements are a gross interference of the CBI's investigation intended to derail the investigation, intended to ensure that the truth does not come out. So, I take serious exception in statements that have been made over the last few days questioning the CBI's investigation of the Ishrat Jahan case," he added.

Accusing the Congress-led UPA government of "destroying institutions, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley yesterday said that the cost of its 'Modi-phobia' would be paid by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in the case of the alleged killing of Ishrat Jahan.

In an article on the party's website on Tuesday, Jaitley said there were news reports that the CBI has been interrogating senior officers of the IB in the case of alleged killing of Jahan.

"The cost of the Modi-phobia will now be paid by the IB. Its senior officials will be grilled. They will be asked details of their intelligence collection methodologies. They could be questioned on the legalities of the means deployed by them to collect intelligence," he said.

On June 15, 2004, four persons -- 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan, along with Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, Amjadali Akbarali Rana and Zeeshan Johar-were killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

Gujarat police then claimed that they were terrorists who had come to the city to kill Modi. (ANI)

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