Chennai/New Delhi: The
Madras High Court Thursday refused to dismiss a case against union
Home Minister P. Chidambaram for allegedly manipulating elections
in his Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu, prompting the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the AIADMK to demand his
In a setback for the minister, the Madurai bench of the Madras
High Court declined to dismiss the petition challenging his
election in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections but struck down two
malpractice charges against him.
Holding that Chidambaram has to face the election petition filed
by AIADMK's Raja Kannappan, one of those who lost from the
Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency, the high court, however, struck
down two of the 29 charges - use of bank officials and banks to
The court said he would have to face the remaining 27 charges and
appear before the court when required to do so. It also asked the
minister to give full cooperation during the trial.
Chidambaram had sought the dismissal of Kannappan's petition and
also an exemption from personal appearance.
Chidambaram was elected to the Lok Sabha from Sivaganga in Tamil
Nadu by a slender majority of 3,354 votes against Kannappan in
2009. Accusing the minister's supporters of manipulating the
votes, Kannapan approached the court.
The court's ruling saw Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK and the BJP ask
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately oust him.
AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.
Jayalalithaa said the prime minister should drop Chidambaram from
his cabinet if he did not resign on his own.
Stating that Chidambaram had won the elections in a fraudulent
manner, she said: "As he has to face the criminal case now it will
be blot on the country's democracy if he continues in office.
Hence Chidambaram without any further delay should resign."
The BJP was in complete agreement.
"We appeal to the prime minister to throw him out of the cabinet
immediately," BJP president Nitin Gadkari told reporters in New
"After manipulating the results of the Lok Sabha polls, and being
attached to corruption cases one after the other, I want to ask
what more evidence does the prime minister need against him," he
Accusing Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for
supporting Chidambaram's "corruption", Gadkari said: "If he is not
ousted, it means Congress supports his corruption and the wrong
means adapted by him to come to the Lok Sabha."
The BJP president added that the home minister was also
responsible for the 2G spectrum scam and his role needed to be
He added that the minister had lost the moral ground to remain in