Chidambaram refutes Modi’s charge

Chidambaram refutes Modi’s charge


The Senior Congress leader, Mr.  P. Chidambaram, has hit back at the Prime Minister for apparently calling him a 'recounting minister', insisting that there had been no re-count of votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

'In the 2009 elections, in Sivaganga constituency, there was only one count and no re-count. A simple check with the Returning Officer would have confirmed that there was no re-count. How many times can people in high places peddle a lie?' Mr. Chidambaram said.

The former Union Finance and Home Minister's response came a day after Mr. Narednra Modi taunted him as 'recounting minister'
of the UPA regime, at a public meeting at Tirupur on Sunday.

Citing his government's step of offering tax exemption for those with income of up to Rs. 5 lakh, Mr. Modi had said that it was a reflection of genuine concern for the middle class, unlike the previous UPA regime.

'There was a very wise minister from Tamil Nadu,' he said, adding, 'you know who I am talking about'. When the people responded loudly, he said, 'right, the recounting minister', without naming the former minister.

Mr. Chidambaram, a Rajya Sabha MP, won the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu by a slender margin of 3,354 votes after a see-saw battle.

Confusion had prevailed then as election officials delayed the declaration of the result due to a dispute in the counting of votes in the final round. Mr. Chidambaram, then Home Minister, was declared elected after the votes were tallied again, vis-a-vis the final round.

Mr. Modi had made the same 'recounting minister' remark during his 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign as well.