P. Chidambaram, the minister known for his political acumen and economic expertise, turns 77-year old on September 16.
Let’s take a look at the politician’s life journey and some interesting facts about him:
Former finance minister, currently serves as Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha and member of the Indian National Congress Party.
He has served as the Finance Minister of India from 2004 to 2014. He was elected for the first time to the Lok Sabha from the Sivaganga constituency of Tamil Nadu in general elections, 1984 from Congress Party Ticket.
Palaniappan Chidambaram was born in Kanadukathan, Sivaganga District, TamilNadu. The minister is a law and a M.B.A graduate.
He started legal practice in the Madras High Court and became a senior advocate in 1984. He had offices in Delhi and Chennai and practiced in the Supreme Court and various High Courts in India.
Chidambaram married to Nalini Chidambaram and a son Karti P. Chidambaram, who is a BBA from University of Texas, Austin.
P. Chidambaram joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1972 and same year he was included as a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). He remained at the post of Youth Congress President of Tamil Nadu from 1973 to 1976.
He quit Congress in 1996 and joined the Tamil Manila Congress (TMC). Later on, he was appointed as the Finance Minister in 1996 and in 1998, he was elected to the Lok Sabha for the fifth time.
In 2004 he was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha and appointed as the Finance Minister under the Manmohan Singh Government.
Chidambaram was accused of involvement in the 2G Spectrum Scam by Subramanian Swamy in September 2011. A CBI Court and the Supreme Court, however, gave clean chits to him in this matter.
He also, became a victim of shoe-throwing incident when a Sikh journalist Jarnail Singh hurled his shoe on him during a press conference in 2009. Singh was showing his displeasure over a ‘clean chit’ to Jagdish Tytler by UPA govt in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
He is widely credited with implementing a series of reforms to stem a slowdown in economic growth, curb a widening fiscal deficit, and attract more foreign investment into India.
Chidambaram generally was regarded as a hard-working and effective administrator, but his political career was also marked at times by accusations of corruption.
Among the most serious of those was his alleged role in scandals involving the sale of wireless-telephone licenses and investments made by foreign companies in the Indian telecommunications sector. The courts either rejected those cases, however, or Chidambaram was cleared by his ministerial colleagues.
Only once was his tenure as a minister disrupted by an allegation of corruption. In July 1992 he resigned as commerce minister to take responsibility for his family’s investment in a company involved in securities fraud.
Chidambaram has faced controversies on account of his son being accused of corruption in the Aircel-Maxis and INX cases. The cases are being pursued by the CBI and ED. His son, Karti Chidambaram was arrested by CBI in the INX money laundering case and is out on bail at present.
Chidambaram is famous for being dealing with Maoist guerrillas with a strong hand as home minister and for being a reformist finance minister.
He also writes fiance-related columns for leading newspapers.