Happy to breathe fresh air: P Chidambaram after release

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram being greeted by the party workers and supporters as he comes out after he was released from Tihar jail in New Delhi, Wednesday night, Dec. 4, 2019. The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday night walked out of Tihar Jail after 105 days of incarceration, to a grand welcome by a sea of supporters even as the party heaved a sigh of relief saying justice had finally prevailed.

The 74-year-old former Finance Minister came out of the jail shortly after 8:00 p.m. wearing his trademark white tunic, a mundu and a light brown shawl draped over his shoulders as the Supreme Court granted him bail in the INX Media money laundering case.

“After 106 days of pre-trial incarceration, there is hot a single charge framed against me. I will speak all about that tomorrow (Thursday),” Chidambaram told reporters on his release. Youth Congress workers waved flags and carried photographs of Chidambaram and showered rose petals on him as he and his son Karti made their way to a waiting car.

From Tihar Jail, Chidambaram drove straight to Congress President Sonia Gandhi's residence for a brief meeting. “I am happy to breathe the fresh air outside,” he said.

“Truth finally prevails,” Congress said on Twitter. Chidambaram's release is expected to bolster the Congress' attack on the Modi government's handling of the economy, which is expected to come up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

“Mr P Chidambaram’s 106-day incarceration was vengeful & vindictive. I am glad that the SC has granted him bail. I am confident that he will be able to prove his innocence in a fair trial,” former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said.

The BJP took a dig at the Congress's reaction on Chidambaram, saying that the former finance minister has joined the “Out On Bail Club”.

“So finally Chidambaram too joins the long list of “OOBC(Out On Bail Club)” in the Congress. He joins the coveted Club, some members of which are: Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Robert Vadra, Motilal Vohra, Bhupinder Hooda, Shashi Tharoor, etc..etc..,” BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said.

Chidambaram has been in custody since August 21 when he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the INX Media corruption case. On October 16, the ED arrested him in the money laundering case. Six days later, on October 22, the apex court granted him bail in the case lodged by the CBI.

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