Why Chidambaram’s Arrest is Evoking Memories of Amit Shah in 2010

“In 2010, when Chidambaram was home minister, the CBI was looking to arrest Amit Shah.” 

2 min read
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. 

The turning up of the heat on former finance minister P Chidambaram, leading to his arrest by CBI in connection with the INX Media case late on Wednesday, 21 August, set social media abuzz with comparisons between the situation of the Congress leader and that of Amit Shah in 2010.

Summing up the comparison and the context behind it, journalist Rana Ayyub tweeted the following on Tuesday: "In 2010, when Chidambaram was Home Minister, the CBI was looking to arrest Amit Shah, while he was absconding. Reverse in play while Amit Shah is Home Minister. Anyones guess [sic]."

Catch all the live updates on Chidambaram’s arrest here.

In 2010, Amit Shah was serving as a cabinet minister in the Gujarat government and was being probed in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.

Meanwhile, Chidambaram was serving as the Union home minister between 2008 and 2012, under the second tenure of the UPA government.

Shah was reportedly arrested in July 2010 by the CBI in connection with the case, but was given bail by October the same year by the Gujarat High Court.

The case pertained to the November 2005 death of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in what was alleged to be a fake encounter. Shah, who had resigned as home minister just a day before he was arrested, had been charged with murder.

Then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi had backed him completely at the time, claiming the Congress was using the CBI to take revenge for its loss in the 2007 Assembly polls.

“This was a politically motivated action against Shah and the BJP government in Gujarat to corner it and to put obstacles in development work it was carrying out,” he said.

Like Chidambaram, Shah also addressed a press conference around the time of his arrest, wherein he claimed his innocence, and reportedly called the charges against him “fabricated and politically motivated”.

With the arrest of Chidambaram – at a time when Amit Shah is the Union home minister under the second tenure of the Modi government – the Congress on Thursday slammed the government, saying it was "hellbent on using CBI and ED as personal revenge-seeking departments for the party in power as also those ruling the country."

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