Riding on his father Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s legacy, Karti Chidambaram has a daunting task ahead in Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency as he is facing a multi-cornered contest with tough opponents.
Debutant Karti is locked in a battle royale in his father’s home turf, as he is pitted against P R Senthilnathan of the ruling AIADMK, S P Durairaj of DMK, H Raja of BJP (who has the backing of DMDK led by actor-politician Vijayakanth, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam of Vaiko and Pattali Makkal Katchi of Dr Ramadoss) and S Krishnan of the CPI.
Many political parties allege that Chidambaram held major portfolios, including Commerce, Finance and Home in Congress-led UPA 1 and 2 regimes at the Centre, but the basic problems like unemployment due to lack of major industries, infrastructure development, water scarcity still hounds the people of the constituency. It was also alleged that Chidambaram has only inaugurated ATMs of all banks in his home turf, but nothing other than that was done by him as a Union minister.
However, refuting the charges, Chidambaram, during his election campaign, said that he had fully utilised the MP development fund of Rs 19 crore for undertaking various welfare measures, including establishment of spices park, coir unit, CISF battalion, for this constituency.
Unfazed by the fact that an isolated Congress, already riddled with various scams, had been forced to plough a lone furrow in this election, Karti, who is also an All India Congress Committee (AICC) member, put up a brave face, when Deccan Herald met him at his farm house in Managiri village in far-flung Karaikudi.
Educated in Texas and Cambridge, Karti, carrying forward his father’s fame, might be new to electoral politics. He said he knows campaigning inside-out as he has been electioneering for his father for the past 16 years. “Like any other cricketer who wishes to open his innings with a century, I will also try to score a century,” Karti said.