`Meeting on May 19, a formality'

D. Sudarasanam, S. Peter Alphonse, S. Jayakumar, C. Gnanadesikan and D. Yasodha among contendersParty leaders regret the high command never consults TNCC on issues concerning Tamil Nadu

CHENNAI: A tussle is on for the post of leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), with too many people in the contention.

In the last Assembly, S.R.Balasubramoniyan was the CLP leader. He was defeated in the recent elections.

Though Congress Working Committee member in-charge of the State party unit, M.Veerapa Moily, has convened a meeting of the MLAs at the party headquarters here on May 19 to elect the CLP leader, party leaders here say it will be a formality.

The CLP leader will be decided by the high command. The meeting will endorse it.

Consensus unlikely

Even if the high command directs the CLP meeting to elect the leader, a consensus is unlikely. The legislators will finally adopt a resolution authorising party president Sonia Gandhi to nominate the leader.

They regret the high command never consults the TNCC on issues concerning the State. It announced support to the minority DMK Government from outside without convening the CLP. Party treasurer D. Sudarasanam, elected from Poonamallee; S.Peter Alphonse of Kadayanallur; S.Jayakumar of Namakkal; C.Gnanadesikan of Vellore and D. Yasodha of Sriperumpudur are among those tipped for the post.

They all have rich legislature experience and made their presence felt in the Assembly sessions. But Mr. Sudarsanam and Mr. Alphonse are said to be strong contenders.

Known for his soft nature, Mr. Sudarsanam has the backing of a majority of the party MLAs, belonging to G.K.Vasan group. But he lacks the aggression required for the post.