Congress fields Karti Chidambaram from Sivaganga

Last Updated 24 March 2019, 19:58 IST

Ending the suspense, Congress on Sunday named Karti, son of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, as the candidate for the family stronghold of Sivaganga. Karti will face controversial BJP leader H Raja and V Pandi of the AMMK.

Karti is facing probe in INX media case and is being probed by CBI and ED. He was arrested by CBI in 2018 and spent more than a fortnight at the Tihar jail in Delhi.

Though the candidates for eight constituencies allotted for the Congress were announced on Friday late night, Sivaganga was kept on hold due to differences within the party. Congress leaders toyed with the idea of allotting the seat to Chidambaram's bete noire E M Sudarsana Natchiappan but finally sided with Chidambaram.

Since Chidambaram is also a Rajya Sabha member, Congress leaders thought giving the seat to his son would send a wrong signal. On Sunday, Natchiappan launched a frontal attack on Chidambaram family and let known his displeasure publicly.

Sivaganga is Chidambaram's stronghold from where the senior Congress leader was elected to Lok Sabha a record seven times -- 1984, 1989, 1991,1996, 1998, 2004 and 2009. Chidambaram lost only once in 1999 to Natchiappan when he contested on a Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) ticket.

The battle for Sivaganga will be interesting since Karti will face Raja, known for his penchant for controversies. The duo had clashed with each other during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as well, but lost. While Raja stood third as candidate of the NDA alliance, Karti came fourth as the Congress contested alone.

This election, Karti will face the electorate by showcasing the work done by his father as an MP seven times. He is also banking on the strength of the DMK-Congress alliance.

(Published 24 March 2019, 12:39 IST)

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