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Did Chidambaram threaten to quit over Karthi's seat?

By Rediff Political Correspondent
April 02, 2019 10:05 IST
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Rahul Gandhi was stunned on hearing the senior leader's angry outburst, but soon relented and asked Mukul Wasnik to announce Karthi's name from Sivaganga, reveals our political correspondent.

Karthi Chidambaram was recently nominated as the Congress candidate from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu, a constituency represented by his father Palaniappan Chidambaram in the 14th and 15th Lok Sabha and from where the son lost in 2014, but not before his father threatened Congress national President Rahul Gandhi with his resignation from the party, sources in the party claim.

The Congress party, which is in alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, was allotted 9 seats in the state.

But its first list, released on March 23, announced candidates only for 8 seats and left out Sivaganga following protests in the party's state unit over Karthi's possible nomination.

Upset over this delay, the former finance minister, Congress sources claim, protested to Rahul Gandhi.

 

The scene unravelled in the presence of three senior Congress leaders -- A K Antony, Anand Sharma and Ghulam Nabi Azad -- who clammed up when asked about it by this correspondent, choosing to neither confirm nor deny the incident.

One of them confirmed that former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh argued Chidambaram's case for 10 minutes, saying he was an asset to the United Progressive Alliance and his son must be given a Congress ticket from Sivaganga.

Chidambaram reportedly told Rahul Gandhi that while on one hand the Narendra Damodardas Modi government was giving him immense mental tension, unleashing raids on him and his family by various government agencies, there was no support from the Congress party.

Not used to such an outburst, the Congress president was stunned for a few minutes on hearing the senior leader's angry outburst, but soon relented and asked General Secretary Mukul Wasnik to announce Karthi's name from Sivaganga.

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Rediff Political Correspondent in New Delhi
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