Karti Chidambaram, Congress leader and son of former finance minister P Chidambaram will contest the Lok Sabha elections from Sivaganga parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu. Putting an end to speculation, the Congress, on Sunday, announced Karti Chidambaram’s name in its ninth list.
The Congress leader and his father are fighting a court battle after being charged by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate in cases related to alleged irregularities in grant of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
“I am deeply honoured that our party has decided to field me as its candidate in the Sivaganga constituency. Grateful to the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and the AICC for giving me this opportunity…”, Chidambaram junior said in a tweet, and added that the “strength of the party and the alliance” will help him win the Sivaganga seat.
He will be pitted against H Raja, the BJP national secretary, known for his several controversial remarks after Lenin’s statue was vandalised in Tripura. He was also summoned by the Madras High Court after a video of him calling the state police ‘anti-Hindu’, and ‘corrupt’ went viral last September. He however claimed that the video was doctored.
Karti Chidambaram’s candidature was keenly contested by former union minister EM Sudarshana Nachiappan, who is now upset over the party’s central committee decision, say sources. The former had lost in Sivaganga in 2014, a constituency held by P Chidambaram since 1984. Karti landed fourth after the AIADMK, DMK and the BJP.
A total of 39 Lok Sabha seats are at stake in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry. Ally DMK will contest 20 out of 39 seats, while Congress will contest on nine seats and also the lone seat in Puducherry.