Soon after walking out of jail, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday met party president Sonia Gandhi, who has extended complete backing to the former Union minister. Speaking to reporters after meeting Gandhi, Chidambaram said: "I am happy that Supreme Court has passed an order granting bail and I am happy that I have stepped out and breathing the air of freedom after 106 days."
The former finance minister said he will address a press conference on Thursday.
Chidambaram walked out of Tihar jail hours after the Supreme Court granted him bail in a money laundering case linked to the INX Media.
His son Karti accompanied him in his meeting with Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi had met Chidambaram at Tihar Jail in September and expressed solidarity with him.
Dressed in his trademark long-sleeved white shirt and dhoti, Chidambaram, whose custody entered the 106th day on Wednesday with most of the time spent behind bars, was surrounded by a posse of newsmen and photographers.
"After 106 days of pre-trial incarceration, not a single charge has been framed against me," he told reporters outside the prison where hundreds of Congress supporters and party leaders were present.
They chanted slogans, 'Dekho dekho kaun aaya, sher aaya sher aaya (Look who has arrived...the tiger has arrived). Jail k tale toot gaye, chidambaram ji chhoot gaye' (The locks of prison have broken, Chidambaram ji is finally out).
The gathering of his supporters also led to a traffic jam on the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg. Karti said he was elated.
"It has been a long wait. I am very grateful that the Supreme Court has given him bail. I am very grateful to entire top Congress leadership, including Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who have supported him through all this," he told reporters. Lok Sabha MP K Jayakumar said Chidambaram was a classic case of revenge politics.
"We all are very happy that Chidambaram is out after 106 days of needless detention. I do not know what kind of system we have. After 90 days if the chargesheet is not filled, you should be let out," Jayakumar said.
(With PTI inputs)