P. Chidambaram is a renowned Indian Politician. He was the Finance Minister in the Manmohan Singh Government from 2004 to 2014. He is a Rajya Sabha Member and an advocate in the Supreme Court.
P. Chidambaram was born on 16 September 1945 (age 73 years; as in 2018) in Kanadukathan village, Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He did his schooling in Chennai from St. Thomas Convent, Madras Christian Higher Secondary School, and Loyola College. He then pursued B.Sc. in Statistics from the Presidency College, Chennai in 1964. He obtained his law degree in 1966 from the Madras Law College, Chennai. In 1968, he went to the Harvard Business School in the USA for his MBA. After returning to India, he started practising law in the Madras High Court. He practised for 2 years before moving to New Delhi to practice in the Supreme Court. He soon became the Union Leader of MRF tyres; which got him interested in politics. He worked his way up and joined the Indian National Congress (INC).
He formed his party- Congress Jananayaka Peravai in 2001. After the 2004 General Elections, he merged his party with the INC. He was appointed as the Finance Minister in 2004 by the Manmohan Singh Government. He is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Height: 5′ 9″
Weight: 80 kg
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Wife
P. Chidambaram belongs to the Nagarathar Community (also known as Chettiar). He was born to Palaniappa Chettiar and Lakshmi Achi. He has a sister, Uma Narayanan, who is a businesswoman and runs a school- The Nest in Chennai. He has 2 brothers, P. Lakshmanan (Industrialist) and P. Annamalai (Deceased).
He is married to Nalini Chidambaram. They eloped and got married on 11 December 1968; as their families did not agree to their marriage. Nalini is the daughter of P.S. Kailasam; a Retired Supreme Court Justice, and Soundra Kailasam; renowned Tamil poet, author, and senior advocate in the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court. They have a son together, Karti Chidambaram.
Chidambaram joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1972. In the same year, he was selected as a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). He was appointed as the President of the Tamil Nadu Youth Congress from 1973 to 1976. In 1976, he was elected as the General Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC); a post which he held for a year.
He contested and won the Lok Sabha Elections in 1984, from the Sivganga Constituency of Tamil Nadu and was elected to the 8th Lok Sabha. On 21 September 1985, he was appointed as the Union Deputy Minister of Commerce by Rajiv Gandhi. After performing well and showing positive results, he was given additional responsibilities of the Union Deputy Minister for Administrative Reforms, Personal & Public Grievances, and Pensions, from 1985 to 1986. In 1987, he was promoted as the Union Minister of State for Personal & Public Grievances, Pension and Home Affairs (Internal Security).
He was elected to the 9th Lok Sabha in 1989 from the Sivganga Constituency. In 1991, he was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha from the Sivganga Constituency; which had become his stronghold. He was appointed as the Union Minister of State for Commerce (Independent Charge) in June 1991.
Chidambaram quit the Congress in 1996 to join the Tamil Manila Congress (TMC); a party formed by defunct Congress members of Tamil Nadu. The TMC and other parties formed a coalition government in 1996. Chidambaram was appointed as the Finance Minister. He got elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998 for a fifth time, from the Sivganga Constituency and again in 2004 to the 14th Lok Sabha. He was appointed as the Union Finance Minister in the Manmohan Singh Government.
He was elected again in 2009 as a Lok Sabha MP for the seventh time. He was appointed as the Union Minister of Home Affairs in 2008, after the Mumbai terror attacks; following the resignation of the previous Home Minister after the attacks. In 2012, he was re-appointed as the Union Finance Minister after Pranab Mukherjee was appointed the President of India. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2016.
Awards and Honours
- The Best Administrator in India Award in 2012 by the K. Karunakaran Foundation
- The Business Reformer of the Year Award in 2013 by the ET Awards
- Chidambaram resigned as the Minister of State for Commerce in July 1992 after it was revealed that his wife, Nalini Chidambaram, invested in a company involved with the share market scam. Reportedly, Nalini knew about the scam before it came to light and still invested in it, and did not report it to the authorities.
- On 6 April 2009, a shoe was thrown at him during a press conference, by journalist Jarnail Singh. Chidambaram was addressing a press conference explaining why Jagdish Tytler, a Congress leader, was given a clean chit in the 1984 Sikh riots. When questioned, Jarnail stated that Chidambaram did not answer him and neither did he give him a valid reply, so he threw a shoe at him.
- In July 2013, Ram Jethmalani accused Chidambaram of money laundering. In a letter stated to Chidambaram, he stated that Chidambaram had Rs. 5,000 Crores laundered for himself by NDTV through Mauritius.
- After the 2011 Mumbai bombings, Chidambaram was criticized as the Home Minister. The media and several politicians blamed Chidambaram; as large investments had been made towards upgrading the intelligence networks and internal security after the 26/11 attack, and despite these investments, a terror attack happened.
- In 2002, Chidambaram’s son Karti and Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra reportedly took advantage of P Chidambaram’s position as the Finance Minister. They were direct beneficiaries of the 2G scam. Karti and Vadra pushed the Aircel-Maxis deal forward to receive bribes in terms of cash and shares. P Chidambaram was also blamed, for delaying the Foreign Direct Investment proposal by seven months, to let the Aircel-Maxis deal pass through.
He owns a Honda City (2015 Model) and a Skoda Octavia (2010 Model)
Assets & Properties
Movable Assets: Rs. 42.95 Crores
Cash: Rs. 3.5 Lacs
Bank Deposits: Rs. 22.43 Crores
Bonds & Shares: Rs. 10.44 Crores
Jewellery: 32 gm Gold worth Rs. 87,000 and 3.21 Carat Diamonds worth Rs. 9.12 Lacs
Properties: Rs. 4.25 Crores
Agricultural Land in Athuru Village, Karnataka worth Rs. 1.93 Crores
Agricultural Land in Habbale Village, Karnataka worth INR 2.31 Crores
Salary & Net Worth
Salary: Rs. 1 Lac per month + other allowances (as a member of the Rajya Sabha)
Net Worth: Rs. 95.66 Crores (as in 2016)
- P Chidambaram’s grandfather, Sir Annamalai Chettiar, was the founder of the Annamalai University and the United India Insurance Company.
- In 1969, during his college days, he started a political journal called The Radical View. He started the journal as he was drifting towards the Left’s ideology. Chidambaram started the journal with his friends, N Ram (Editor of The Hindu) and Mythili Sivaraman (Women’s Activist). N Ram and Chidambaram quit after a while, but Mythili continued the journal.
- P Chidambaram’s budget as the Finance Minister in 1997, is still considered the Dream Budget of India. His mother was present in the parliament when Chidambaram presented the budget. She told the reporters that she was extremely proud of the budget her son prepared and happy that Chidambaram explained it so calmly.