Says party has a responsibility to State

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president B.S. Gnanadesikan, who assumed charge on Wednesday, has called for unity in the party and sought earnest co-operation from one and all for realising the dream of restoring ‘Kamaraj rule' in the State.

In his first address to partymen at the party headquarters, he announced that he would formulate a “vision document” in consultation with all the party leaders in the State. “Congress has a responsibility to the State”, he said and added that for the party to realise this “we should all unite, work and succeed”.

In a bid to mollify the factions in the party, he said “I will act in such a manner that everyone extends co-operation.”

He said he had already requested all the Union Ministers from the State — P. Chidambaram, G.K.Vasan and Jayanthi Natarajan — that they should visit the party headquarters — Sathyamurthi Bhavan — every time they visited Chennai and meet partymen. “For this, each Minister would be allotted a separate room in the headquarters,” he added.

He made it a point to mention the names of leaders who could not attend the function organised in connection with his taking over and explained why they were absent. “All of them have agreed to extend their fullest co-operation to me,” he added and appealed to the media not to highlight their absence.

He urged all the leaders, even mentioning his predecessors Kumari Ananthan and K.V. Thangkabalu and veteran Dalit leader K.Paaramalai by name, that they should tour the State to enlighten the people on the achievements of the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre and its schemes.

Only by visiting all the villages, forming block-level committees and organising campaigns that the party could be strengthened at the grassroot level.

Mr. Gnanadesikan pooh-poohed the calculations aired by the media based on the performance of the party in the recent local body elections.” The perception that the party is capable of securing only 5.71 per cent is wrong”, he asserted. “If it were parliamentary elections, we cannot be vanquished. But in the Assembly elections we are prone to some losses,” he said.

Taking a dig at the ‘so-called Tamil nationalism', he said while these elements could only raise slogans in support of Sri Lankan Tamils, it had been Congress-led Governments at the Centre that had been in the forefront of helping them. “We will not leave our brethren in the lurch”, he promised.

Besides, he said he would take up the issue of attack on Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy with the Prime Minister.

Referring to Kudankulam issue, he said he would request the Centre to investigate the on-going agitation thoroughly and find out the source of funds for the agitators who had commenced the stir when the plant was about to generate power. At the same time, it was the duty of the Central Government to allay the fears of the public.

Those who took part in the meeting included Union Minister Vasan, former TNCC presidents Kumari Ananthan, M. Krishnasamy and Thangkabalu and AICC General Secretary Sagar Raika.