Palaniappan Chidambaram is the former Finance and Home Minister of India and a member of the Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra. A senior Congress politician, Chidambaram is a trained lawyer while also being a MBA from Harvard University, USA. He practiced law in Chennai and Delhi and became a member of the Lok Sabha in 1984.
He served as minister of state in different Congress governments till 1996. In 1996, he joined a breakaway faction of the Congress party in Tamil Nadu, known as the Tamil Manila Congress and became the Union Finance Minister in a coalition government in 1996.
In 1997, he presented the Union Budget which came to be known as a dream budget. He once again became the finance minister In the Manmohan Singh government in 2004, holding the portfolio till 2008. After the Mumbai terror attack, he moved to the home ministry when Shivraj Patil resigned from his post.
Chidambaram returned as home minister in the second Manmohan Singh government. He moved to the finance ministry after Pranab Mukherjee moved to become the President in 2012. Famous for being an efficient administrator and no-nonsense leader, his command over matter of economy and policy make him one of the most important Congress voices.
He has been elected to the Lok Sabha seven times from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu. He lost the elections in 2014. He is now a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Chidambaram has faced controversies on account of his son being accused of corruption in the Aircel-Maxis and INX cases. The cases are being pursued by the CBI and ED. His son, Karti Chidambaram was arrested by CBI in the INX money laundering case and is out on bail at present.
Chidambaram is famous for being dealing with Maoist guerrillas with a strong hand as home minister and for being a reformist finance minister.