After Vasan, it’s now Thangkabalu’s turn to opt out
The Congress high command is in a quandary with more party seniors from Tamil Nadu showing reluctance to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
On Thursday, a confidant of the former TNCC president, K.V. Thangkabalu, said he would not contest. Like Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan, Mr. Thangkabalu would also campaign for Congress candidates in all 39 constituencies. He did not request for a seat, a statement from TNCC vice-president R. Damodaran said.
The developments prompted party MP from Virudhunagar Manicka Tagore to write a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi urging her to ensure that such leaders do not get any electoral chance for the next 10 years.
A senior leader, on condition of anonymity, said the high command wanted Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to contest from Sivaganga despite buzz that his son Karti Chidambaram might be fielded there. The case was similar with the former TNCC president, M. Krishnaswamy, whose son Vishnu Prasad is looking to bag his father’s Arani constituency.
“The central leadership wants all eight sitting MPs to contest,” said the source.
Significantly, TNCC president B.S. Gnanadesikan has been denied the Dindigul seat with the high command preferring incumbent N.S.V Chitthan. Former Union Minister E.V.K.S Elangovan will contest from Tiruppur whereas former Environment Minister Jayanti Natarajan is being considered for Sriperumbudur.
“But it is not clear if she would fight the elections,” the leader said.
S. Thirunavakarasar, who contested from Ramanathapuram on a BJP ticket in 2009, is likely to hold on to the constituency. Krishnasamy Vandayar is the frontrunner for Thanjavur, whereas the former Mayor, Charubala R. Thondaiman, is being considered for Tiruchi. The source said Annapoorna Thangaraj was a probable for Madurai.
The party is looking to nominate the great-grandson of C. Rajagopalachari, C.R. Kesavan, for Chennai Central.
The toughest fight though is for Kanyakumari, where MLA S. Vijayadharini, former Municipal chairman Ashok Solomon, Colachel MLA J.G. Prince and former MLA H. Vasanthakumar have staked claim.
Party sources said that with the party Central Election Committee meeting analysing the names on Thursday, a final list is likely to be released by Saturday.