It is not just The Economist, a British magazine, which sees Union finance minister P Chidambaram as a potential prime minister candidate. Several well-wishers in Tamil Nadu want to see him leading the government, and DMK chief M Karunanidhi has emerged his biggest cheerleader.
Releasing a book titled P Chidambaram Oru Paaravai (P Chidambaram, A Perspective) on Saturday, Karunanidhi endorsed actor Kamal Hassan's view that the finance minister would become the PM.
After one of the speakers had said a dhoti-clad Tamil should become the PM, the DMK chief said that in such a sentiment one would "find a fitting reply to the view that a sari-clad Tamil should be the prime minister". The apparent jibe at the prime ministerial ambitions that chief minister J Jayalalithaa's supporters entertain on her behalf was not lost on the audience.
Karunanidhi handed over the first copy of the book, a compilation of views on Chidambaram by people from different walks of life, to the minister's mother, Lakshmi Ammal at a function. With Chidambaram in attendance, Hassan said, "People may question my locus standi, but I have every right to say so."