Unrest seems to be brewing in the sharply divided Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress,after the “unilateral” en masse expulsion of 19 partymen by TNCC president K V Thangkabalu,triggering demands for action against him.
A day after the April 13 Assembly elections,Thangkabalu expelled 19 people including former Chennai Deputy Mayor ‘Karate’ S Thyagarajan and actor-politician S Ve Shekher,who
had quit AIADMK earlier,for “anti-party activities”.
A section of Congressmen attributed “personal” reasons behind the action of Thangkabalu,the party’s Mylapore (Chennai) candidate,whose authority for taking such action has been challenged by them.
Party sources claimed that the expelled functionaries,which included seven Youth Congress office-bearers,were removed as they had raised slogans against Thankgabalu at an election rally addressed by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Thyagarajan,who termed the expulsion as “betrayal” by Thangkabalu,said the TNCC president had no right or qualification to expel him.
“He had expelled me,Shekher and others without issuing notices and this is a unilateral act,” he said.
He added that Thangkabalu had no right to expel YC members as that was “beyond his jurisdiction.”
State YC president M Yuvaraja echoed similar views and said if Thangkabalu had any problems with the YC workers,he should have informed its leadership.
Former TNCC president EVKS Elangovan demanded that the party high command take action against Thangkabalu,while AICC member Karti Chidambaram said he had taken up the matter with his father and Congress Working Committee member Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Some party workers burnt effigies of Thangkabalu,protesting against the expulsion of the 19 members.
Thangkabalu,a former MP,has been facing tough times from the party cadre,especially after the candidates were announced for the 63 seats Congress contested under a poll tie up with DMK.
He had to face the wrath of supporters of some leaders who,denied tickets,went even to the extent of damaging property at TNCC headquarters,Satyamurthy Bhavan.
Thankgabalu drew further flak when his wife Jayanthy was initially nominated as party candidate from Mylapore whose candidature was rejected on technical grounds.
Ultimately,Thangkabalu himself turned out to be Congress’ Mylapore candidate as he had filed his nomination as a dummy candidate.