Chidambaram said that the government believed that dissent “must be suppressed” because it is an “authoritarian and majoritarian government.”

I-T Raids Are Govt’s Way of Warning The Quint: P Chidambaram

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

Former finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday, 12 October, labelled the Income Tax raids at the offices of The Quint and at the residence of its Editor-in-Chief Raghav Bahl and CEO Ritu Kapur, as the "government's way of sending a message."

In an interview with The Quint’s Sanjay Pugalia, Chidambaram said that he was "convinced" the I-T raids were a result of the organisation's criticism of Narendra Modi-led central government.

“After demonetisation, you became very critical of the government. You have been critical of the government in the GST implementation. You have been critical of the government in its rolling out of programs without funding them. You are a major critic of the government today and you have a large readership online. Likewise, there are one or two more online news agencies which have a large readership and this is the government’s way of sending a message. ‘Behave, or...’”
P Chidambaram, Former Union Minister

"Issue Notice, Call for Books of Account"

The senior Congress leader said that if there was evasion of tax for capital gains, as the I-T officers alleged, they should issue a notice and call for the books of account instead of searching the offices.

“Where is the need to send an army of people with police protection to go and search a place? What are you searching? If you issue a notice, people will produce the documents. They are bound to produce the documents. I can’t imagine that you will mount such a major operation for alleged non-payment of capital gains.”
P Chidambaram, Former Union Minister

BJP Govt Suppresses Dissent

Pointing out that there was a pattern to the government’s behaviour, Chidambaram said that the editors have been sacked at the “insistence” of the government and the government suppresses dissent.

He added that the government believed that dissent “must be suppressed” because it is an “authoritarian and majoritarian government.”

“But that is how the government has been behaving. How many editors have been sacked at the insistence of this government? Magazine editors, newspaper editors, have all been sacked at the insistence of this government. Fearless journalists are finding it difficult today to get any of their programs on TV because the government has a blacklist which circulates among the TV channels.”
P Chidambaram, Former Union Minister

Watch the full interview with P Chidambaram