P. Chidambaram is a prominent 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 of the Supreme Court of India.
P. Chidambaram was born on Sunday, 16 September 1945 (age 73 years; as in 2018) in the Kanadukathan village, Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He did his schooling from St. Thomas Convent, Christian Higher Secondary School, and the Loyola College in Chennai. In 1964, he pursued B.Sc. in Statistics from the Presidency College of Chennai. In 1996, he did Bachelor of Laws from the Madras Law College in Chennai. In 1968, he went to the Harvard Business School in the USA to pursue MBA. After returning to India, he practised law in the Madras High Court. He practised for 2 years and then moved to New Delhi to practice law in the Supreme Court of India. He became the Union Leader of MRF tyres; which got him interested in politics.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
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. His sister, Uma Narayanan is a businesswoman and runs “The Nest” school in Chennai. He has 2 brothers, P. Lakshmanan (Industrialist) and P. Annamalai (Deceased).
He is married to Nalini Chidambaram. On 11 December 1968, they eloped and got married; 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, a renowned Tamil poet, author, and senior advocate in the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court of India. They have a son together, Karti Chidambaram.
Chidambaram joined the Indian National Congress 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).
In 1984, he was elected to the 8th Lok Sabha from the Sivganga Constituency of Tamil Nadu. On 21 September 1985, he was appointed as the Union Deputy Minister of Commerce by Rajiv Gandhi. From 1985 to 1986, he was given the additional responsibility of the Union Deputy Minister for Administrative Reforms, Personal & Public Grievances, and Pensions. In 1987, he got promoted as the Union Minister of State for Personnel & Public Grievances, Pension and Home Affairs (Internal Security).
In 1989, he was elected to the 9th Lok Sabha from the Sivganga Constituency of Tamil Nadu. In 1991, he got re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha, and he was appointed as the Union Minister of State for Commerce (Independent Charge).
Chidambaram quit the Congress in 1996, and he joined the Tamil Manila Congress (TMC), a party formed by the former members of the Tamil Nadu Congress. In 1996, the TMC and other parties formed a coalition government in Tamil Nadu and Chidambaram was appointed as the Finance Minister. In 1998, he was elected to the Lok Sabha for a fifth time from the Sivganga Constituency. In 2001, he formed his party- the Congress Jananayaka Peravai. However, after the 2004 General Elections, he merged his party with the INC.
In 2004, he was elected as an MP from the Sivaganaga Constituency. He was inducted in Manmohan Singh Government and appointed as the Union Finance Minister. He was re-elected 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 26/11 attacks. In 2012, he was re-appointed as the Union Finance Minister when Pranab Mukherjee was appointed as the President of India. In 2016, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra.
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 in share market scam. Reportedly, Nalini knew about the scam before it came to light and instead of reporting it to the authorities, she invested in it.
- On 6 April 2009, a shoe was thrown at him during a press conference, by journalist Jarnail Singh, while 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 about his actions, Jarnail stated-
“Chidambaram did not answer me and neither did he give me a valid reply, so I threw a shoe at him”
- In July 2013, Ram Jethmalani accused Chidambaram of money laundering. In a letter 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 he was the Union Home Minister. The media and several politicians blamed Chidambaram and said that 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 Chidambaram, and Sonia Gandhi‘s son-in-law, Robert Vadra, reportedly took advantage of P Chidambaram’s position as the Finance Minister. They were beneficiaries in the 2G scam. Karti and Vadra pushed the Aircel-Maxis deal forward to receive bribes. P Chidambaram was also blamed for delaying the Foreign Direct Investment Proposal by seven months, to let the Aircel-Maxis deal pass through.
- INX MEDIA CASE-
January 2008- The Income Tax department flags Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of 305 Crores INR to the INX Media Pvt Ltd. (owned by Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea) by 3 Mauritius based companies. The case was transferred to the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
2010- The ED registered a case of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations against INX Media.
2016- While investigating Karti Chidambaram in the Aircel-Maxis case, the ED found documents linked to “INX Media” on his CA’s computer. The documents showed payments by INX Media to Karti’s company. The transactions were made after P. Chidambaram granted Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval to INX Media.
15 May 2017- The ED registered a case of corruption in the FIPB against P. Chidambaram.
11 October 2018- The ED seized Karti Chidambaram’s properties worth 54 Crores INR in India, UK, and Spain, in connection with the INX Media money laundering case.
11 July 2019- Indrani Mukerjea became an approver in the INX Media case. She accepted conditions by the ED to provide all the information related to the case. Following this, P. Chidambaram filed for an anticipatory bail in the Delhi High Court.
20 August 2019- The Delhi High Court rejected Chidambaram’s bail plea, and he was asked to appear before the court. Chidambaram filed for an anticipatory bail in the Supreme Court of India, which was rejected too. Following which he went missing for 27 hours. Meanwhile, the CBI issued a look-out notice for Chidambaram.
21 August 2019- Chidambaram appeared in the AICC headquarters at 8 PM in a press conference. He stated that he was innocent, and he being targeted due to a political vendetta by the BJP. Soon after the press conference, he went to his home in Jor Bagh, New Delhi. The CBI reached his residence, but he refused to open the doors. CBI officials then had to climb the walls and arrest Chidambaram from his residence.
5 September 2019- A CBI Court sentenced him 14 days judicial custody in Tihar Jail in the INX Media case.
4 December 2019- He walked out of jail after spending 105 days, with the Supreme Court granting him bail in the INX Media money laundering case.
— ANI (@ANI) August 21, 2019
He owns a Honda City (2015 Model) and a Skoda Octavia (2010 Model)
Assets & Properties (as in 2016)
Cash: 3.5 Lacs INR
Bank Deposits: 22.43 Crores INR
Bonds & Shares: 10.44 Crores INR
Jewellery: 32 gm Gold worth 87,000 INR and 3.21 Carat Diamonds worth 9.12 Lacs INR
2 Agricultural Lands in Karnataka worth 4.24 Crores INR
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 after he drifted towards the Left’s ideology. Chidambaram started the journal with N. Ram (Editor of The Hindu) and Mythili Sivaraman (Women’s Activist). N Ram and Chidambaram quit after a while, but Mythili continued working on the journal.
- P Chidambaram’s budget as the Finance Minister in 1997 is considered the Dream Budget of India. His mother was present in the parliament when Chidambaram presented the budget and she told the reporters that she was proud of the budget her son prepared, and she was happy that Chidambaram explained it so calmly.
- On 21 August 2019, after being arrested by the CBI, he was taken to the CBI headquarters for questioning. Reportedly, he was being non-cooperative with the investigation and evaded most of the questions asked by the CBI. On 22 August 2019, the CBI was given custody of P. Chidambaram till 26 August 2019. A CBI official stated that as Chidambaram is a former Home Minister he has experience in dealing with the CBI, and he is being smart in how he answers his questions.