Factionalism to the fore as TNCC prepares for State-wide campaign

Sources in the party say that the smooth functioning of the TNCC faced a setback after a scuffle on November 15 between the supporters of MLA Ruby R. Manoharan and others. 

Sources in the party say that the smooth functioning of the TNCC faced a setback after a scuffle on November 15 between the supporters of MLA Ruby R. Manoharan and others. 
| Photo Credit: File photo

Factionalism and lack of cooperation from a section of senior leaders have put the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) high command in a tight spot as it prepares itself for Kaiyodu Kai Korpom (Let us join hands) programme in Tamil Nadu, as an extension of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra that will culminate in Kashmir on January 26.

Some of the office-bearers in the Congress lament that a section of leaders was staying away from party events. Even as TNCC president K.S. Alagiri sought to play down the issue by saying that even he could not attend all the meetings, the absence of senior leaders, including former TNCC presidents and the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader K. Selvaperunthagai during the preparatory meeting at Sathyamurthy Bhavan on Thursday tells a different story.

“As many as 66 of the 76 party district presidents have participated in the meeting,” he said and refused to go into the issue further.

Sources in the party said that the smooth functioning of the TNCC faced a setback after a scuffle on November 15 between the supporters of Ruby R. Manoharan, MLA from Nanguneri constituency, and others. They came to Sathyamurthy Bhavan to protest against the block-level organisational appointments. Though he was suspended by the TNCC’s disciplinary panel, the suspension was revoked by All India Congress Committee’s senior leader Dinesh Gundu Rao, who is in-charge-of party affairs, on the ground that the procedure for suspension had been followed “improperly”, and was done “in contravention to the principle of nature [sic] justice”.

“Mr. Selvaperunthagai was upset over the incidents and the subsequent disciplinary action,” a party source claimed. When asked why he had not participated in the function held to release senior leader A. Gopanna’s book on Jawaharlal Nehru by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, sources close to Mr. Selvaperunthagai said he was in New Delhi on that day. “He also could not take part in the unveiling of the statue of late Congress leader Kakkan because he had participated in an event in Nagapattinam. On Thursday, he was busy shifting his ailing sister from one hospital to another,” sources said, pointing out that former TNCC leaders including K.V. Thangkabalu, E.V.K.S. Elangovan, and M. Krishnasamy were also not attending some meetings.

Meanwhile, Mr. Alagiri said the Kaiyodu Kai Korpom programme was a door-to-door campaign aimed at galvanising field activities of the party office-bearers and cadre. “Party organisations at every level have the responsibility to implement it successfully. We will reach out to the people with the slogan of Save our Constitution,” he said.

He alleged that the Union government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was against the federal setup of the Constitution. “The RSS is ruling the country and destroying all the democratic institutions and individual freedom in the country. We should not allow it,” he said.

Mr. Alagiri also rejected BJP national president J.P. Nadda’s claim that the Centre had allotted more funds for Tamil language than any other classical language.

“Tamil has received just ₹29 crore while Sanskrit, spoken by just 21,000 people, has received ₹634 crore,” he said.

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