The local unit of the Congress is “not in favour of aligning with the All India N.R. Congress or to form a government after toppling the present establishment,” former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader V. Vaithilingam has said.
“The All India N.R. Congress (AINRC) has come to power with a huge majority and there is no need for the Congress to extend support. It is also not advisable for us to extend support,” he said at a press conference here on Tuesday.
Asked about AINRC founder N. Rangasamy's statement evincing his interest to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Vaithilingam said that the local leadership would go by the instructions of the high command.
However, it would appraise the high command of the “administrative mess” that had taken place after Mr. Rangasamy took over, including the large-scale retrenchment of workers appointed by the Congress government.
The party would launch an agitation if the Chief Minister continued with the policy of retrenching workers.
Former Minister in the Vaithilingam Cabinet, A. Namassivayam, who was also present at the press conference, said that Mr. Rangasamy was bringing in a “new culture of political victimisation” in the political sphere of the Union Territory by removing employees appointed by the previous government.
Responding to the Chief Minister's remarks that he was not aware of the retrenchment of workers, Mr. Namassivayam said that Mr. Rangasamy should make it clear who was responsible for the decision. He also pointed out the “inability of Mr. Rangasamy” to form a full-fledged Cabinet and allocate portfolios even a month after being sworn in as Chief Minister.
On the imbroglio in Cabinet formation, Mr. Vaithilingam said, “We are not concerned whether Mr. Rangasamy forms the Ministry or allocates portfolios. It is the internal decision of the AINRC.”
Senior Congress leaders told The Hindu that the local unit of the party was aware of the efforts being made by Mr. Rangasamy to meet Ms. Gandhi with the intention of seeking support.
A senior party functionary admitted that in the initial stages, a few members in the Congress wanted to have an “understanding, even power sharing” with the AINRC. But, after seeing the dissent within the AINRC and the recent happenings, even those who favoured a tie-up with Mr. Rangasamy backed out, the leader said. “Now, the majority wants to follow a wait-and-watch policy.”