Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa chose to light a fuse after a “cordial meeting” with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as she wound up her first trip to Delhi as the CM. She accused home minister P Chidambaram of getting himself elected to Parliament through "fraudulent" means and sought his exit.
"Our party has always maintained that Chidambaram's victory was through fraudulent means...his continuance in the Union council of ministers is untenable," Jayalalithaa said at a press conference in New Delhi.
She was responding to a question whether her party had gone soft on an election petition filed by AIADMK candidate Rajakannappa challenging the election of Chidambaram to the Lok Sabha from Sivaganga.
“Chidambaram was never elected to Parliament in 2009. He has played a fraud on the nation. Our party candidate won the election," she said when asked whether she wanted him to quit as minister and MP.
"Chidambaram was announced the successful candidate because of a fraud committed by a data entry operator." Countering her remarks, Chidambaram issued a statement saying, "She knows that her candidate Rajakannappan has filed an election petition in the Madras High Court, which is pending since September 2009. Her statement is therefore in gross contempt of court."
The home minister pointed out that Rajakannappan had also contested the assembly elections last month and lost from one of the segments falling under his parliamentary constituency, Sivaganga. "Perhaps, she would say that that election result was also fraudulent."
Congress, however, dismissed as “unrestrained” Jayalalithaa's statement against Chidambaram. “How can any party give its reaction on such an unrestrained statement? The person concerned will respond,” party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.