P. Chidambaram Biography

Palaniappan Chidambaram is a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and a former Union Minister of Finance of India. A lawyer by profession, he has also served as the Home Affairs Minister for three years. He was born on 16th September 1945 in Kanadukathan in the Sivaganga District, Tamil Nadu and has two brothers and one sister. He is married to Nalini Chidambaram and has a son, Karti P. Chidambaram, who is also a politician in the Congress party.

Chidambaram graduated with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Statistics from The Presidency College, Chennai. He further pursued Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from the Madras Law College which is currently known as Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Harvard Business School and a Masters degree from Loyola College, Chennai. He is enrolled as an Advocate in the Chennai High Court and practices in the Supreme Court and in various High Courts in the country.

In 1984, Chidambaram was first elected in the Lok Sabha from Sivaganga Constituency of Tamil Nadu. He fought in elections on behalf of the Indian National Congress Party and was re-elected from the same constituency in the subsequent years of 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998, 2004 and 2009. In 1986, he served as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and got an additional responsibility as a Minister of State for Internal Security in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

P.Chidambaram was made the Minister of State (Independent) in the Ministry of Commerce in 1991 but the next year he resigned from his post due to some controversies. In 1995, he was again appointed in the same post and made some amendments in Import and Export policies of India. In 1996, P.Chidambaram quit the Indian National Congress and formed Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) with Moopanar and went to Lok Sabha as a TMC MP. In the general elections held in 1996, TMC along with a few national and regional level opposition parties formed a coalition government and he was made the Union Minister of Finance. He continued as the FM for two years as the coalition government fell in 1998.

In 2001, He separated from TMC and formed his own party “Congress Jananayaka Peravai”. He later merged his party with the Indian National Congress in 2004.

The same year, P. Chidambaram was appointed as the Minister of Finance by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. . He served this post till 2008 and later in the same year he was appointed as the Union Home Minister following the resignation of Shivraj Patil who had come under intense pressure to tender his resignation. He served as Home Minister till 2009. In July 2012, when Pranab Mukherjee demitted the office of Finance Minster to become the President of India, Chidambaram succeeded him as the Union Minister of Finance.

P. Chidambaram’s contribution to the finance and commerce sector of India is immense. During the budget of 2008, his move to waive off farmers debts had a big hand in improving the collective demand in the Indian economy thus protecting India from the impact of recession. In the “dream-budget” of 1996-97, he disciplined the government spending by launching an ambitious tax reform programme to tackle the unmanageable fiscal deficit.