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May 14, 2012 at 11:07pm IST

Aircel-Maxis deal: Chidambaram makes emotional pitch

New Delhi: There were fresh fireworks over the Aircel-Maxis deal in Parliament on Monday as the government dismissed Opposition charges of delay in clearing investment by Aircel-Maxis in 2006 during the tenure of P Chidambaram as Finance Minister.

An emotional Home Minister also clarified saying yet again that his family was not directly or indirectly related to the controversial deal and that he was ready for a probe.

Chidambaram mounted a defence against allegations by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley that his son Karthi benefited from the Aircel-Maxis deal. He said that the firm his son worked for was only providing consultancy and that he would welcome a probe.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee also defended the Home Minister, telling the Lok Sabha there was no delay in permission.

"Forgive them for they know not what they do. They rather put a dagger through my heart than question my integrity," said Chidambaram.

It's the type of stuff Chidambaram rarely uses, but his emotional defence did not cut much ice with the Opposition that pinned him down saying his son benefitted from the deal.

Chidambaram was forced to defend himself twice this week.

With Chidambaram being among the top four ministers and not willing to go down without a fight, the government and the Congress promptly jumped to his defence.

The Opposition wants a discussion on the matter while the government is unlikely to bend. Though the Home Minister has said that he is ready for a probe, it is something which the Congress wishes to avoid as it knows it could get messier.