Joining issue with AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday dismissed as baseless her charge that he opted out of the 2014 poll race in favour of his son as he “feared” defeat in the backdrop of a questionable win in Sivaganga in the 2009 Lok Sabha election.

Asserting that he was not running away from the case in the wake of an election petition filed by the AIADMK candidate in Sivaganga, the senior Congress leader said that the case “has reached the trial stage and I am facing it.” Mr. Chidambaram was addressing party cadres at a Backward Classes conference organised by the Congress in Thirumaiyam, which falls under the Sivaganga constituency.

Rejecting Ms. Jayalalithaa’s charge that he won the last election by “fraud” and refused a re-count, Mr. Chidambaram said, “I never tried to run away from the case.” On the contrary, it was the Chief Minister who was “adopting dilatory tactics” in the ‘disproportionate assets case’ going on in a special court in Bangalore, he countered and asked why she was not talking about it and other cases against her.

Mr. Chidambaram said that since the election petition against him came to the trial stage last year, it was the AIADMK petitioner who did not turn up in court on many occasions. She was also unaware of the UPA schemes implemented in the State.

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