Sitharaman to be I-T department lawyer, taunts Chidambaram

New Delhi: Hitting back at Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after her “Nawaz Sharif moment” comment, former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram taunted that the “buzz in Delhi” was that Sitharaman was soon going to be appointed a lawyer for the Income Tax department.

“The buzz in Delhi is that Sitharaman will be removed as Defence Minister and appointed as lawyer of the Income Tax Department. Welcome to the bar, Sitharaman,” tweeted Chidambaram, a senior lawyer himself.

Hours earlier, Sitharaman told the media that Chidambaram and his family were under the I-T Department scanner for not declaring their assets and incomes in foreign countries and added that it was the “Nawaz Sharif moment” for the Congress party.

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been barred from holding public office for life by that country’s Supreme Court for not disclosing assets held abroad.

Sitharaman wondered if Congress President Rahul Gandhi would follow suit in Chidambaram’s case.

Chidambaram also took a jibe at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, saying the President of “the richest political party in India” was “dreaming of billions of dollars”.

“Bring the money back (from foreign undeclared bank accounts) and put Rs 15 lakh in the account of every Indian as you promised,” Chidambaram said.

Shah tweeted earlier that under the Black Money Act, four chargesheets had been filed against Chidambaram and his family for “possessing and operating several illegal assets and accounts in foreign countries”.

“The Income Tax Department estimates illegal assets held by UPA’s Finance Minister to be to the tune of $3 billion. This explains why despite Supreme Court’s orders, Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram dragged their feet on formation of SIT… how could they indict their own selves?” Shah tweeted.

He said the formation of a Special Task Force to track and curb the black money was one of the first decisions taken by the Modi government.