Trouble is brewing in the Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress, with a section of the party owing allegiance to former union minister P Chidambaram rising in revolt against state president, seeking his removal for the dismal show in the Lok Sabha elections.
A joint statement signed by the defeated candidates, state executive committee members and district secretaries, including the former minister’s son Karti Chidambaram, who lost from Sivaganga, accused TNCC president B S Gnanadesikan of a series of wrong steps which eventually led the party’s defeat.
The party lost from all 39 seats it contested, of which only one managed to secure the deposit, and ended with a meagre voteshare of 4.31 per cent. “While all other leaders toured the state during campaign, the TNCC president did not even convene meetings of state executive and general council. The state unit did not make any arrangement for campaign, and not even one state level campaign was held. He failed to apprise the national leadership of the situation on the ground and provide support to the candidates,” alleged the group leaders, seeking immediate change in leadership in the state unit.
The signatories, which included nine state executive committee members, five state vice-presidents, four state secretaries and 11 district presidents among others, belong to the Chidambaram faction in the Tamil Nadu Congress, led by Karti, while the incumbent Gnanadesikan belongs to the faction headed by another former union minister G K Vasan.
Chidambaram enjoys much more clout in Delhi than Vasan, but back home in Tamil Nadu the latter heads a group that is almost double in size as his. However, the Chidambaram faction is gaining ground though Vasan has the advantage of inheriting a large pool of loyalists from his father, late G K Moopanar.