It is now more than a month since the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V. Thangkabalu sent in his resignation owning moral responsibility for the party's drubbing in the recent Assembly election, his resignation is yet to be accepted.

With only a few months to go for the local body elections, the party remains directionless.

According to party leaders, no consensus had emerged so far on choice of candidate, with two major factions sticking to their stand. The party high command has thus chosen to remain silent on Mr.Thangkabalu's resignation.

One of the factions is for B.S. Gnanadesigan, MP, or S. Karvendhan, former MP, while the other backs K.S.Alagiri, MP.

Mr. Sudharsana Nachiappan, MP, is considered a non-controversial candidate. A.Gopanna, Editor of Desiya Murasu, a Congress-historian and a close confidant of former TNCC president G.K. Moopanar for almost two decades, laments that the party has remained without any office-bearer at the grass-roots level for almost seven years now.

He points out that it was during S. Balakrishnan-EVKS Elangovan period as president and working president of the TNCC that a number of office-bearers were selected. Thereafter there had been no office-bearers at the District Congress Committee-level as well. Since then it was only the TNCC presidents who were appointed, be it G.K.Vasan, M. Krishnasamy or Thangkabalu. “All the arrangements have been ad hoc”, he says.

The ticklish problem facing the high command was whether to go with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), its seven-year-old ally, in the local body elections too.

It is confounded by the present situation in which members of the first family of the DMK are facing turbulent times due to their alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Those against continuing the alliance with the DMK are also suggesting the nomination of some one acceptable to the AIADMK, a State-level party leader says.

With caste being an integral part of Tamil Nadu politics, some leaders are of the opinion that Dalits, the vote bank of the Congress for decades despite the emergence of Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi and Pudhiya Tamilagam, should get proper representation at the highest level in the State.

There has been no Dalit TNCC president after L. Elayaperumal.

There is also a section in support of former Union Minister S. Thirunavukkarasar. However, as he is a recent entrant (after being in AIADMK for more than two decades and in Bharatiya Janata Party until recently), his selection is considered a remote possibility.