It will be baptism of fire for Chidambaram

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New Delhi, Nov 30 (UNI) It will be a baptism by fire for Palaniappan Chidambaram who became the country's new Home Minister today after Shivraj Patil quit in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.

The 63-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer is no stranger to the job, however, having served as Minister of State for Home (Internal Security) from 1986-89 in the Rajiv Gandhi Ministry.

Later, he was asked by the Congress to liaise with the V P Singh government on matters related to Rajiv Gandhi's security.

Chidambaram is a six-term member of the Lok Sabha from Sivaganga (Tamil Nadu).

He was born to Palaniappan and Mrs Lakshmi Achi on September 16,1945 in Sivaganga is married to Nalini and has a son.

He took his B.Sc. and B.L degrees from the Madras University before going to Harvard.

After a brief stint in Tamil Nadu politics, Chidambaram was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984. He served as Deputy Minister for Commerce and later in the Ministry of Personnel, Administrative Reforms, Training Public Grievances and Pensions.

From 1986 to 1989, apart from serving as Minister of State in the Home Ministry, he also looked after the portfolios of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Chidambaram was made Minister of State for Commerce in the Narasimha Rao government.

Between 1996 and 1998, Chidambaram served as Finance Minister in the United Front governments headed by H D Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral.

He was an almost automatic choice as Finance Minister when Dr Manmohan Singh took over as Prime Minister in May, 2004.

UNI RP GC1746

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