The Sivaganga constituency in southern Tamil Nadu was one that a lot of people had their eyes on, as a result of Congress fielding Karti Chidambaram on the seat that senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had held seven times since 1984. The high-profile constituency witnessed a contest between Chidambaram’s son Karti and National Secretary of the BJP H Raja, with sitting MP P.R. Senthilnathan of the AIADMK not contesting owing to his party’s alliance with the BJP.
Karti Chidambaram wins the constituency by a margin of 332244 votes
While Karti’s candidature in itself was a big talking point on account of his being probed for the last few years by the Enforcement Directorate, it was also somewhat surprisingly opposed by leaders of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC).
Karti’s main poll plank was voting out Prime Minister Narendra Modi:
“The only issue for the people in the polls is dislodging Modi from power,” Karti had said in an address to the media.
Moreover, Karti in his campaign focused on his party’s Nyay income guarantee scheme, asserting that it would be a gamechanger in the lives of poor.
On the other hand, Karti’s opponent H Raja tried to woo voters by emphasizing that P Chidambaram had not addressed issues faced by the people in the constituency despite being a union minister for long periods during various Congress regimes.
Raja’s campaign also had references to national security and focused on local issues which included implementation of Cauvery-Gundaru river linking project and making Sivaganga a textile hub for spurring employment opportunities.
Sivaganga is Chidambaram's stronghold. He has been elected to the Lok Sabha from the seat a record seven times -- 1984, 1989, 1991,1996, 1998, 2004 and 2009. Chidambaram lost only once in 1999 to Natchiappan when he contested on a Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) ticket.