P. Chidambaram

Former Finance Minister of India

Palaniappan Chidambaram (born 16 September 1945)  is an Indian politician and attorney who currently serves as Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha   and formerly served as Union Minister of Finance of India. Chidambaram is a corporate lawyer and an important member of the last Congress-led government. He has been the Finance Minister since May 2004, except for a three and a half year stint – beginning November 2008 – as Home Minister, in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Chidambaram returned as Finance Minister in July 2012, succeeding Pranab Mukherjee, who demitted office to become the President of India.

In the budget for 1996–97, Chidamba discipline in government spending and launched an ambitious tax reform program to tackle an unwieldy fiscal deficit

Chidambaram was born to Kandanur L. Ct. L. Palaniappa Chettiar and Lakshmi Achi in Kanadukathan in the Sivaganga District under a Merchant Community known as Nattukottai Nagarathar, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. His maternal grandfather was Raja Sir Annamalai Chettiar, a wealthy merchant and banker from Chettinad.

Chidambaram did his schooling at the Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School he passed the one year pre University course from Loyola College, Chennai. After graduating with a BSc degree in statistics from the Presidency College, Chennai, he completed his Bachelor of Laws from the Madras Law College (now Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College) and his MBA from Harvard Business School in the class of 1968. He also holds a master’s degree from Loyola College in Chennai.

Political career

Chidambaram was elected to the Lok Sabha (Lower House) of the Indian Parliament from the Sivaganga constituency of Tamil Nadu in general elections held in 1984. He was a union leader for MRF and worked his way up in the Congress party. He was the Tamil Nadu Youth Congress president and then the general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Pradesh Congress Committee unit.

1984 – 1999 : Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha

1985 – 1989 : Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India

1986 – 1989 : Minister of State for Internal Security, Government of India

1991 – 1992 : Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce, Government of India

1995 – 1996 : Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce, Government of India

1996 – 1998 : Minister of Finance, Government of India

2004 – 2014 : Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha

2004 – 2008 : Minister of Finance, Government of India

2008 – 2012 : Minister of Home Affairs, Government of India

2012 – 2014 : Minister of Finance, Government of India


Family and personal life

Chidamaram‘s mother, Lakshmi Acchi, was the daughter of Sir Annamalai Chettiar, a banker and merchant, who owned an estate of 90 villages in Tamil Nadu and was granted the title of Raja by the British Raj. Annamalai Chettiar was the founder of Annamalai University and United India Insurance Company Limited. His brother Ramaswami Chettiar was the founder of Indian Bank and the co-founder of another major banks.

He is married to Nalini Chidambaram, daughter of Justice (Retd.) P.S. Kailasam, Supreme Court, and Mrs. Soundra Kailasam, a renowned Tamil poet and author, who is a senior advocate practising in the Madras High Court and in the Supreme Court of India. He has a son, Karti P. Chidambaram, who graduated with a BBA degree from the University of Texas, Austin, and a Masters in Law from the University of Cambridge. Karti, a Congress Party’s AICC member, is active in Tamil Nadu state politics. Karti is married to Dr. Srinidi Rangarajan, a well-known Bharathanatiyam dancer and medical doctor, working with the Apollo Group of Hospitals in Chennai. Karti and Srinidhi have a daughter, Aditi Nalini Chidambaram.

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