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After CBI Arrest, Disbelief Grips Chidambaram Supporters in His Native Tamil Nadu Village

The former Finance Minister was arrested by the CBI Wednesday night from his residence in Delhi in connection with INX media corruption case.


Updated:August 22, 2019, 8:02 PM IST
After CBI Arrest, Disbelief Grips Chidambaram Supporters in His Native Tamil Nadu Village
File photo of Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram. (PTI Photo)

Sivaganga (TN): A sense of disbelief and outrage was palpable among supporters of Congress leader P Chidambaram in and around his native village of Karaikudi in Sivaganga district over his arrest, even as a section of people expressed indifference and some outrightly opposed him.

The former Finance Minister was arrested by the CBI Wednesday night from his residence in Delhi in connection with INX media corruption case. In the sleepy hamlet of Kandanur, about 10 km from

Karaikudi, though life appeared to go on as usual, the arrest of Chidambaram set tongues wagging.

Expressing disbelief, V Nelliyan told PTI "this is nothing but an act of political vendetta." Condemning the arrest, the young man, before proceeding to a protest demonstration held by Congress against the Centre, said the only hope was the judiciary.

"The vindictive action has incensed the common man," he claimed, adding that the courts would render justice and the BJP-led government would be exposed for targeting "an honest gentleman."

Similar was the response from a couple of others, including Rajaratinam and Avudayappan, who also lauded the senior leader for maintaining "poise and cool" despite the government "perusing vindictive politics." Congress functionary E M S Abhimanyu of nearby Tirupattur said this is a "brutal murder of democracy," adding the arrest was shocking.

'Ilakiya' Natarajan, a long-time associate of Chidambaram here expressed disbelief and shock over the former minister's arrest.

"He is a respected Parliamentarian and a former Minister. What is the tearing urgency to arrest him by scaling the walls of his house? I just cannot believe that this can happen to him. I am shocked and outraged," he said.

G Vimal, who runs a construction material retail outlet in downtown Karaikudi said "Chidambaram is not a resident of our place. He is usually either in Chennai or Delhi..only some party workers are agitated here and not the general public."

The trader alleged that the former Minister visited Karaikudi or Sivaganga only during elections. A couple of men in the periphery of the very quiet Managiri, where the stately bungalow of Chidambaram is located though eager to know about the INX case declined to offer comments.

A man working for a school, declining to give out his name said, "we have seen him going in a car... other than that we do not know anything...what do you want me to comment and what difference is it going to make,?"

'Therbogi' V Pandi of nearby Devakottai, who unsuccessfully fought against Karti Chidambaram from Sivaganga on a Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam ticket, said that people were unperturbed by the development.

"Chidambarm got pre-arrest protection for over a year and only now anticipatory bail has been declined by the Delhi High Court...there is no point in blaming anyone. He has to face the matter legally," Pandi said.

The AMMK functionary said "even during the Lok Sabha poll campaign, we pointed out the cases being faced by Chidambaram and his son Karti....we had rightly asked how people can be effectively served in view of such cases."

S Sankar of Singampunari and others from Nattarasankottai, Baganeri and Kalayarkoil (Sivaganga Lok Sabha segment) recalled Chidambaram opening bank branches and ATMs in their localities when he was a Union Minister.

On his arrest, they, however, said they were not aware of the cases. The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee meanwhile staged protest demonstrations in 71 party districts across the state.

An agitation was held at the former Minister's native Karaikudi as well. Sivaganga is the native constituency which Chidambaram represented for decades. His son Karti emerged victorious in the same segment in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

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