Palaniappan Chidambaram (Tamil: பழனியப்பன் சிதம்பரம்; born September 16, 1945) is an Indian politician and present Union Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of India. Previously he was the Finance Minister of India from May 2004 to November 2008. However, after the resignation of Shivraj Patil, Chidambaram was made the Home Affairs Minister.
From years 1996 to 1998, P. Chidambaram was also a Cabinet Minister with the Finance portfolio for a brief period in the United Front coalition government. Chidambaram, as finance minister then under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Deputy Chairman of India's Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia was a part of the Planning Commission of India. Prior to the tenure of Finance Minister, he was Minister of State in the Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao led Congress-party governments, holding other portfolios.
Chidambaram was born to Kandanur L. Ct. L. Palaniyappa Chettiar and Mrs. Lakshmi Achi in Kanadukathan in the Sivaganga District, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. He was born into the royal family of Chettinad. He hails from the family of Nagarathar or Nattukotai Chettiars of Tamil Nadu.