With the Congress High Command announcing on Sunday that Karti Chidambaram would be the party’s Lok Sabha candidate from the Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu, the State’s political discourse has undergone a major change. Sudarsana Nachiappan, a front-runner for the Sivaganga constituency, was seen crying foul over the announcement made by the High Command selecting Karti, son of Congress strongman P Chidambaram as the candidate for the April 18 election from Tamil Nadu. If initial reactions from the constituency are any indication, Karti, a club level tennis player has double faulted even before the nomination was filed.
…discontentment in the Congress over candidate selection, the displeasure among the Christian community towards the Congress party for ignoring members of the community and the ire of the DMK cadre towards M K Stalin’s style of functioning would benefit H Raja, it is widely believed.
Since Chidambaram, his lawyer wife Nalini and their one and only son Karti are facing probes in criminal cases by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), there were doubts whether the Chidambarams would be fielded from Shivaganga, which papa Chidambaram was projecting as his family fortress to friends from North India.
Patrons of PGurus need not be refreshed with the kind of criminal cases being faced by Chidambaram, Nalini, and Karti. “There is no doubt this time around. Karti Chidambaram would lose the election from Sivaganga. Greed too has its limits,” said a senior All India Congress Committee (AICC) leader close to the Chidambaram family. “We had told them many times to give way to winnable candidates. But papa and bachu do not listen to us,” said the leader on the condition that his name not be revealed.
But Arunagirinathan, former Seva Dal leader and a one-time confidante of Chidambaram had no reservations in openly admitting that Karti was waging a losing battle. “There is severe opposition to the Chidambaram family in Sivaganga. Their arrogance is unbearable and they treat us like scum. Though we are from poor families, we too have self-respect,” said Arunagirinathan who keeps away from active politics. But he was of the view that H Raja of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a bright chance this time. “He is from Karaikudy and is very active in social and political issues. People have understood that Raja is a good human being,” said Arunagirinathan.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Karti had polled 1,04,678 votes, finishing fourth behind Raja. The young Karti had declared during the election campaign meetings that he would construct tennis courts in all panchayats of Sivaganga if elected as MP. “He and his father failed to resolve the water scarcity in the constituency. Whenever we approached Chidambaram, he would shout at us asking to go to Panchayat office for drinking water,” says Arunagirinathan.
Another Congress leader pointed out that the AIADMK, which had polled 4,75, 993 votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha election could lose some of the votes to the Mukkulathor (Thevar) community of T T V Dinakaran and Sasikala because of the split in the party. “If the NDA succeeds in retaining at least 10 percent of the Mukkulathor votes, Raja would take the flight to New Delhi on May 23 as the MP of Sivaganga,” said the Congressman.
The move by the AIADMK to forge an alliance with the DMDK led by Vijayakanth is likely to supplement the fall in Mukkulathur votes. In the 2009 Lok Sabha election, the DMDK candidate contesting without any alliance partners had polled 60,054 votes. The news scoop by Chanakyaa TV, a news portal owned by Rangaraj Pande on Monday that the news on Kodanadu Estate conspiracy hatched by the Kerala Christian journalist Mathew Samuel was to discredit the image of chief minister Edappady Palaniswamy has come as a morale booster to the NDA in Tamil Nadu and this surely have an impact in the upcoming election.
The discontentment in the Congress over candidate selection, the displeasure among the Christian community towards the Congress party for ignoring members of the community and the ire of the DMK cadre towards M K Stalin’s style of functioning would benefit H Raja, it is widely believed.
CBI Sanction for Prosecution against P Chidambaram in the INX Media case
It is close to six weeks since the CBI got Sanction for Prosecution against P Chidambaram and yet no action has happened. It is not clear if the CBI is in wait and watch mode because of elections or if someone is blocking the organization from acting. The same is the case with the Enforcement Directorate in the case of Aircel-Maxis prosecution. Is the slow down deliberate or because of elections? If it is the latter, that brings up the question as to why? Why should the agencies go into wait mode because of elections? Should they not go by facts?