Home minister P Chidambaram invoked Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar while refuting the Opposition’s allegation in the Lok Sabha on Thursday that his son Karti bought shares in telecom firms Aircel and Malaysia-based Maxis between March and October 2006.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha questioned the propriety in Chidambaram’s son buying 5% shares in Aircel even as the Centre was considering its controversial take-over bid by Maxis.
Chidambaram later read out a statement issued by Karti in which he said neither he nor any member of his family acquired or held shares in any telecom firm, let alone Aircel or Maxis.
Sinha said that while the Centre claimed that the deal was approved in March 2006, reports said it was cleared seven months later. “Is it right that the minister’s son buys 5% shares in a company whose deal is approved by his father?” he said.
Chidambaram quoted Thiruvalluvar saying that “people who cause ill to you, you will return it only with good.” He further added, “When I was a student, I was taught by my Sister Nuns, 'God, forgive them for they know not what they do. I pray that God will forgive the sins of these people'.”
Amid the 0pposition uproar, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, whose ministry recently issued a clarification on the Aircel-Maxis deal, lost his cool and chided Opposition members for not letting him give his reply by shouting continuously.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi was seen trying to calm down Mukherjee, who later tendered an apology to the House.