Chidambaram faces trial for Lok Sabha election: 10 big facts

New Delhi/Chennai:  Home Minister P Chidambaram has been told by the Madras High Court that a case that challenges his election to the Lok Sabha in 2009 will continue.
Here are 10 big facts on this story
  1. Mr Chidambaram lost an appeal this morning to have the case against him dismissed.
  2. The Madras High Court, however, dropped two of the charges against him: "corrupt practices" including distributing cash among voters and using bank and government staff as polling officials.
  3. The opposition BJP and Jayalalithaa have said Mr Chidambaram has lost the moral right to continue in office and must resign. "Winning the Lok Sabha election by cheating and then getting involved in so many corruption cases, why would the PM need any more evidence against Chidambaram?" asked BJP president Nitin Gadkari.
  4. The Home Minister told the Press Trust of India that he is astonished at the "monumental ignorance" of those asking for his resignation
  5. He said that today's verdict is a setback for the petitioner and not him, because major charges against him have been deleted by the High Court. A statement from Mr Chidambaram's lawyer clarified that "the Court has not expressed any view on the merits of the allegations and has only struck out two crucial paragraphs on the ground that they do not comply with the strict law of pleadings."
  6. The case against the minister has been filed by AIADMK candidate R S Raja Kannappan, who lost the Sivaganga constituency to the minister by just over 3,000 votes.
  7. Mr Kannappan had alleged that Mr Chidambaram had misused his position as then Finance Minister to influence the election. He also said that officials enlisted for election duty were from nationalised banks and that they owed allegiance to Mr Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister at the time.
  8. Mr Chidambram has represented Sivaganga six times in the Lok Sabha.
  9. His opponent claims that when votes were being counted, at 12 PM, he was informally declared the winner, with the result being flashed on some local channels. He says Mr Chidambaram acknowledged defeat and left the counting centre. But even after counting officially ended at 12.30, Mr Kanappan says, he was not formally declared the winner by the Returning Officer. He claims that at 4.30 pm, when nationwide results indicated the Congress was in the lead, the minister returned to the counting centre and was hours later declared elected. The AIADMK alleges that its candidate's votes were transferred to Mr Chidambaram via a conspiracy between the minister and the Returning Officer.
  10. The Congress expressed its staunch support for Mr Chidambaram today. Law Minister Salman Khurshid said that the BJP wakes up every morning with a demand for the Home Minister's resignation. He also said that his colleague can appeal against today's verdict in a higher court.

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