Efforts by the faction-ridden Congress in Tamil Nadu to resurrect itself have received a big boost from the visit of its General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on a mission to strengthen the party at the grass-root level.

At a time when state Congress leaders are talking about reviving the ‘golden period’ of Kamaraj rule (Congress government), the three-day visit by Mr. Gandhi has given the much-needed thrust to the party apparatus, triggering speculation that it might be toying with the idea of going it alone or heading an alliance in the 2011 state Assembly elections.

Mr. Gandhi’s remarks to the party state executive against the Congress riding piggyback on Dravidian parties is seen as ample indication of its determination to widen its base in the state, dominated by DMK and AIADMK, leaving the party out of power since 1967.

The visit came amid growing rumblings in the Congress over DMK’s refusal to share power with it, despite the Karunanidhi government entering the third year in office this May, surviving on the support of 36 Congress MLAs.

A majority of the members at the state executive, chaired by Gandhi on September 9, not only pointed out DMK’s refusal to share power, but also spoke of the need to reclaim the party’s “lost glory”. Mr. Gandhi started his tour of the state from September 8.

Bereft of top leaders of stature who could turn the party’s fortunes around, Congress is also suffering due to festering infighting.

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