‘Down But Not Out’ – Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram

At a time when Indian Economy has entered a worrying phase, the government in normal course should have been calling an All Party meet to discuss and thrash out measures to assure a jittery populace. However instead of arresting the economic slowdown, it ended up arresting the Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, with the opposition crying foul and labeling it as targeted vendetta.

Mr Chidambaram has been in CBI custody since August 21 over corruption allegations in a case infamous as the INX media case.

The former Finance Minister had been a constant sore in the eyes of the present government, ever since he had been writing reviews and commenting on the dismal state of Economy in India through his weekly #AcrosstheAisle Column in Indian Express.

The ‘Across The Aisle’ column had been immensely popular with many of his fans describing it as their weekly input of enlightenment. Some claim that it was this constant showing of mirror to the present regime of its failed governance and unfulfilled promises that made him the target of BJP’s vendetta politics.

Mr Chidambaram, was produced in the CBI court on Tuesday. Looking fairly cheerful and like a seasoned politician that he is, with a simple gesture and a jibe of a comment on the dismal low of 5% GDP, Chidambaram dismantled the governments efforts at possibly subduing him by putting him through the harassment that he goes through.

As he was ushered out of the Supreme Court hearing, reporters eagerly wanted to hear, if he had to say something about his incarceration, but Mr Chidambaram had a taunt of 5% ready.

“Sir, do you want to say something, now that you have been in custody for 15 days,” a journo asked the former high profile Finance Minister all surrounded by plain clothed CBI officers and unifored police.

“5 per cent,” Mr Chidambaram replied, holding his five fingers open to exactly convey the number, literally taking a dig at the central government over the record seven year low of GDP.

“You know what is 5 per cent? You remember 5 per cent,” he said over his shoulder at the reporter, who seemed initially caught in surprise but then another one called out to substantiate, “GDP”.

Mr Chidambaram even after 15 days in custody looked confident and in control as though his prophecy for the government on the economic front had come true.

According to the data released by the government, the economic growth plummeted to a record seven-year low to five per cent in April to June quarter from the 8% just a year ago.

Ever since this data has been out in public, the opposition has been mounting constant attacks on the government, specifically directed at the present Finance Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman who for once seem to be playing on the back foot.

Ms Sitharaman’s recent statement wherein she had claimed that ‘Indian economy has been doing better than the US and China despite weak global growth’ has also come in for severe criticism from many stalwarts, who had till now been supporting, every effort by the Modi led government.

The short clip was tweeted by Mr Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram, also an elected representative, with the canny comment: “P Chidambaram on the state of the economy.”

This was soon picked up by twitterati across the board and has since gone viral. It reflects the belligerant mood of a man driven to the wall, reminiscent of a true and seasoned politician and in the process lifting the spirits of party workers and cadres.

The Congress handle too tweeted the video with dripping sarcasm: “A quick reminder by P Chidambaram on why he’s feared by the BJP government.”

“Down but not Out” is what could thus be said about P Chidambaram after todays incident at the court.

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