Congress candidate Karti Chidambaram, who filed his nomination for the Sivaganga constituency, on March 26, for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, declared assets worth ₹47 crore. According to the affidavit he submitted, he has movable assets worth ₹24 crore and immovable assets worth ₹23 crore.
This is an increase of about ₹7 crore and ₹12 crore respectively from 2014. The son of senior Congress leader and former union finance minister P Chidambaram had unsuccessfully contested the same seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
According to the affidavit, his wife, Srinidhi Karti Chidambaram, owns assets worth ₹32 crore — ₹9 crore movable and ₹23 crore in immovable assets. Both these categories saw an increase of ₹5 crore and ₹9 crore respectively from 2014. The couple’s most latest addition to the immovable assets category was a ₹3-crore residential apartment in Abhiramapuram, purchased a year ago.
While Karti’s liabilities stood at ₹9 crore — a 100% increase from 2014 — Srinidhi’s was slightly lower at ₹8 crore. However, the daughter-in-law seems to have increased her lending to Chidambaram by a ₹1 crore. Karti, who says he primarily gets his income from rent, interest from deposits and agriculture, has seen a 113% increase in income from FY 2012-13, to ₹1.75 crore. However, there has been only a nominal increase in the past five years.
While he faces investigation by central agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Aircel-Maxis and INX Media cases, Karti, in his affidavit, claimed that no charges have been framed in these cases. There are eight pending cases against him.
On February 7, Karti was questioned by the ED in connection with the money laundering probe against him in the INX Media case. Officials had then said that he was summoned to record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Subsequently, he was questioned a number of times before getting his property, worth an estimated ₹54 crore, located in India and abroad, attached.
An uproar erupted within the Congress over Karti’s nomination to the seat, represented by his father in the past, with another party leader EM Sudarsana Nacthiappan taking exception to the AICC’s decision. The former union minister alleged that the people of Sivaganga “hate that entire family (P Chidambaram’s) as they have not done anything good” for the constituency.
(With inputs from agencies.)