Former Union Minister P Chidambaram may be one of the few leaders from Tamil Nadu to have risen in political stature nationally in the past few decades, but on Wednesday when he was granted bail in the INX Media case after having spent 106 days in jail, there was hardly any jubilation in his home state or in Sivaganga, his native district.
At the Sathyamurthy Bhavan, the headquarters of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, the only visible signs of celebration was in the morning when a motley group of cadres burst crackers and distributed sweets to passengers on board a Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus. For good measure this small group had brought with it a contingent of media crew from local Tamil television channels to capture the 'celebrations'.
The reasons for this lukewarm reaction was not far to seek as Chidambaram does not have a core constituency of his own despite being the party's most articulate face from Tamil Nadu.
The TNCC president K S Alagiri, who owes his loyalty with Chidambaram, merely tweeted that the bail granted to him after 105 days was like the adage justice delayed is justice denied. He added that Chidambaram upon his release would certainly fulfil his democratic duties by taking on the BJP government.
In Karaikudi, Chidambaram's native town, a motely group of cadres burst crackers.
Asked about this, a second line leader said, “Maybe the party and his supporters will accord him a big reception when he comes to Chennai after being released.”