CBI raids Karti Chidambaram in new 'bribe for visas' case and Congress MP is losing count
Reacting to multiple Central Bureau of Investigation raids at multiple locations on the homes and offices of Karti Chidambaram, the Congress MP tweeted saying that he had lost count. Raids were carried out at nine locations in connection with a fresh case against Karti Chidambaram for allegedly facilitating the entry of Chinese nationals illegally in exchange for bribes, sources said.
He tweeted, "I have lost count, how many times has it been? Must be a record," adding, "My office has just updated on the "record" twice in 2015, once in 2017, twice in 2018 & today :) 6!"
Congress leader Karti Chidambaram was allegedly involved in facilitating visas to Chinese workers for the Talwandi Sabo Power Limited project in lieu of a bribe of Rs 50 lakh, said sources. This comes as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducts multiple searches at the homes and offices of Karti Chidambaram in connection with a fresh case.
Under the UPA government, the Home Ministry allegedly cleared illegal visa use for Chinese nationals in return for Karti Chidambaram's bribes in 2011. The Talwandi Sabo Power Limited was in the process of establishing a 1,980 MW thermal power plant in Mansa Punjab. The establishment was outsourced to a Chinese company called Shandong Electric Power Construction Corp (Sepco).
The project was running behind schedule. So, in order to avoid penal action for the delay, Talwandi Sabo Power Limited was trying to bring in more Chinese professionals to the site.
This required project visas over and above the ceiling imposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs. So, the company approached Karti Chidambaram through his close associates. They allegedly devised a back door to defeat the purpose of visa ceiling by granting permission to re-use 263 project visas allotted to the Chinese company's officials.
The permission for this devious visa grant to Chinese professionals was approved by the home ministry in the month of application. Karti Chidambaram was allegedly paid in crores through false invoices by a company which made industrial knives, citing consultancy services and Visa work.