While other parties are finalising ties, Congress yet to put in place poll strategy

As a seemingly self-inflicted isolation faces the Tamil Nadu Congress committee (TNCC) even after the Lok Sabha poll schedule has been announced, its desperation over the alliance issue is getting worse by the day and intensifying the agony of senior party functionaries.

Already spurned by its ‘trusted’ ally, the Dravida Munntera Kazhagam (DMK), over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue a year ago, Congress functionaries and senior Ministers feel all the more left in the cold with no visible signs of any definitive action by the party high command to put in place a credible election strategy.

“We have reached such a sorry state of affairs as the high command never allowed us to articulate our position on key issues, such as the Sri Lankan Tamils question, commutation of death sentence to the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and earlier on the 2G spectrum scam,” says a senior State Congress leader. Despite the Congress having a good case to defend itself on these issues to prove its pro-people stance, the leader pointed out, it was very unfortunate that it had to feign silence all through “for the fear of antagonising the DMK.’’

The faction-ridden TNCC was another stumbling block with the party unable to utilise the services of even highly articulate leaders like P. Chidambaram to explain its achievements on various fronts and its responses to sensitive issues to the people at large, the source said.

The deep frustration among Tamil Nadu Congressmen appears to have now virtually demoralised them, as other major parties have almost concluded alliance talks in the State, which goes to the polls on April 24.

While locally influential leaders were disallowed from pursuing alliance options with political parties in the State, the source rued that leaders from Delhi, unaware of the ground realities here, sought to take an upper hand in alliance talks. This did not help the TNCC, the source said.

TNCC had hardly any time to activate its machinery to speed up poll-related groundwork, the Congress leader explained. He hoped that at least now the high command would wake up to the realities and take quick steps to boost the morale of the party’s rank and file to face the polls.

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