The Congress should be ashamed that its senior leader P Chidambaram has turned into an "absconder", the BJP said today after daylong attack from leaders of the opposition party over what it called "persecution" of citizens.
Mr Chidambaram -- facing arrest after the Delhi High Court refused to provide him with anticipatory bail in the INX Media case -- has not been in touch with the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI, whose personnel visited his residence last night.
The agency now has issued a lookout notice, which means he would not be allowed to skip the nation.
P Chidambaram "wants to join the ranks of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi," said GVL Narasimha Rao, the BJP spokesperson, citing names of wanted men the Congress has so far used as ammunition to attack the BJP.
Vijay Mallya, wanted for defaulting on Rs 9,000-crore loan to his now-defunct Kingfisher airline, has skipped the country. So has diamond trader Nirav Modi, who is wanted in the Rs 11,000-crore scam in a state-owned bank.
The Congress alleged that the BJP has facilitated their crimes and then helped them to skip the country.
Mr Chidambaram has been accused of facilitating a huge infusion of foreign funds into a television company, INX Media, in 2007 on the behest of his son Karti Chidambaram, who allegedly received kickbacks for this. At the time, he was the country's finance minister in the UPA government. Mr Chidambaram has denied the allegations, saying it was politically motivated.
Mr Rao cited the order of the Delhi high court to disparage the leader. The court, he said, has "conclusively stated in its order that P Chidambaram is the kingpin of this INX media scandal".
The court, while dismissing Mr Chidambaram's appeal for bail yesterday, had cited multiple reasons for its decision. The list was topped by the evidence against him and his failure to "cooperate with the investigations" after he was given interim relief from arrest last year, the judge said.
"This is an economic offence and has to be dealt with iron hands... The hands of investigating agencies cannot be tied up in such a massive economic offence," he added.