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Tamil Nadu: State Congress chief Elangovan booked for ‘verbally abusing’ party MLA

Sources said that Vijayadharani had been complaining that she was being sidelined in the party to make way for celebrities like Khushboo and Nagma.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai |
Updated: November 30, 2015 1:52:02 am
EVKS Elangovan EVKS Elangovan

Tamil Nadu state Congress chief EVKS Elangovan has been booked on a complaint by the state Mahila Congress chief, MLA S Vijayadharani, for allegedly verbally abusing her using “filthy language”.

Chennai City police filed the case under Section 354 IPC (using force to outrage modesty of woman) and 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) against Elangovan on Saturday. Meanwhile, state Mahila Congress vice-president Manohari, known to be an Elangovan supporter,filed a complaint against Vijayadharani, for allegedly hurling abuse at her and being casteist.

Sources said that Vijayadharani had been complaining that she was being sidelined in the party to make way for celebrities like Khushboo and Nagma. This, they said, possibily culminated in a showdown between Vijayadharani and Elangovan on Friday.

The trouble began when a hoarding of Vijayadharini was reportedly pulled down by cadres and dumped in a room at Satyamurthi Bhavan, the state party headquarters here. “Vijayadharani angrily asked for action against the cadres, but Elangovan objected to the way she demanded it,” a party leader said.

“I asked her to lower her voice. When she kept shouting , I asked her to leave the room. Finally I left the room myself as she sat there in protest,” Elangovan told The Indian Express. He added that Vijayadharani shouted at him, but he never used “filthy language”.

Vijayadharani, however, reiterated that Elangovan used “filthy language”. A leader accompanying her said his supporters even roughed them up. The Mahila Congress chief later told the media she strongly objected to Elangovan’s behaviour. She also claimed he had been demanding that she quit the party.

Elangovan denied charges of sidelining Vijayadharani. “After she was appointed Mahila Congress chief, she was given all support. When she wanted to travel across the state, I asked our district leaders to make arrangements,” he told The Indian Express.

On allegations of giving undue prominence to celebrities, he said Khushboo and Nagma were no more celebrities but senior leaders. “There was no undue prominence given to them. Khushboo is our national party spokeperson appointed by AICC. Nagma joined the party some 10 years ago and her duties are decided by AICC, not me. Our party is open to addressing any grievance of colleagues. But we would be helpless if they go directly to the press,” he said.

The latest controversy in the Congress, months before the Assembly polls, comes three weeks after senior state leaders headed by K V Thangkabalu met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and demanded Elangovan’s ouster on the ground of “lack of coordination and cooperation” under his leadership.

Vijayadharani, meanwhile, left for Delhi on Sunday. Her supporters said she was “waiting to meet Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to protect the party’s interests and seek Elangovan’s removal.”

On the other hand, 12 district presidents of the Congress said in a statement, “Annai (Mother) Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should act against Vijyadharani and establish discipline in the party. She must be removed from her Mahila presidentship and basic membership.”

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