Tamil Nadu Congress chief Elangovan resigns over ‘differences with Rahul’

“He has informed the leadership that he would continue as a humble party worker,” said a senior leader.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Updated: June 26, 2016 4:12 am
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) President E V K S Elangovan with leaders along to meeting Rahul Gandhi Residence in New Delhi on Wednesday. Express Photo by Amit Mehra. 20.01.2016. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) President E V K S Elangovan with leaders along to meeting Rahul Gandhi Residence in New Delhi on Wednesday. Express Photo by Amit Mehra. 20.01.2016.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president E V K S Elangovan, who took charge of the party in late 2014, has sent his resignation to the All India Congress Committee, reportedly because of disagreements with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over the Tamil Nadu poll results.

While Elangovan was not available for comment, party sources said he sent his resignation a week ago. “He has informed the leadership that he would continue as a humble party worker,” said a senior leader. Another leader said Elangovan had been upset ever since Rahul disagreed with his poll strategy.

“Rahul didn’t want the Congress to ally with the DMK for the polls. Even when he agreed to an alliance, he insisted that the Congress win over 60 seats. When we managed to win only eight, Elangovan’s leadership was blamed. Rahul said the Congress should have won more seats,” the leader claimed.

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Over the last month, the leader said, the Congress high command had intensified criticism of Elangovan. “Even his recent decision to remove seven district presidents was challenged by the high command,” said the leader. “He was being targeted by all top leaders in Tamil Nadu. He tried to revive the party as long as the high command stood by him. But he is the last person to cling to a post.”

Sources said the high command’s stand prompted his resignation. “We assume he resigned after the AICC questioned his decision. Most of the seven leaders removed from the post are those who stood by Elangovan. Still, he removed them as they worked against the party to defeat our candidates,” said a leader.

A Mahila Congress leader said, “Earlier, he sent showcause notices to Karti Chidambaram. After this poll, he threw out the son of an influential leader in Cheyyur for anti-party activities. His uncompromising stand on party discipline led to this.”

A senior leader who sent a petition against Elangovan said he was being unilateral in his decisions, and had denied posts to people recommended by former TNCC chief K V Thangabalu and Congress leader P Chidambaram.
P Ramajayam, a senior political analyst with the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Trichy, called Elangovan’s resignation “a real crisis for the state Congress”.

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