As expected, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram — one of the most prominent faces of the UPA government — will not be contesting this Lok Sabha elections. In his place, the Congress gave his son, Karti P Chidambaram, a ticket to contest from Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu.
Reacting to the announcement, Karti said he was “honoured that the Congress party bestowed the responsibility” on him. “It’s a huge challenge. I will work very hard. Congress in Sivaganga is organised and ready for the fight,” he added.
There was not much explanation as to why Chidambaram chose to bow out of the contest, except that he wanted GenNext to take over the baton. “My father has contested nine elections and thought it was time to give way. He is definitely not retiring from politics,” Karti said. According to sources, the FM would prefer to move to the Rajya Sabha.
The Congress party’s strategy has changed from the south to north. While its Finance Minister, a quintessential Lok Sabha member, shied away from the battle of ballot, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, essentially a Rajya Sabha politician, decided to take the plunge. He will contest from Udhampur, J-K.
Another Congress senior, Mani Shankar Aiyar has been fielded from Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. In all, names of 50 candidates were announced in the party’s fourth list for the Lok Sabha elections, late on Thursday evening, mostly dominated by the Tamil Nadu seats.