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Too many hands in Salem Congress to receive applications

R. Ilangovan
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Confusion stemmed after TNCC President ‘removed' the existing East and West district presidents of Salem

Congress Salem East district president R. Devadoss (right) who has been ‘removed' by TNCC President K.V. Thankgabalu receiving applications from aspiring contestants for local body polls in Salem on Wednesday. - Photo: P.Goutham
Congress Salem East district president R. Devadoss (right) who has been ‘removed' by TNCC President K.V. Thankgabalu receiving applications from aspiring contestants for local body polls in Salem on Wednesday. - Photo: P.Goutham

The aspiring contestants of the local body polls in Congress in Salem district to which the TNCC President K. V. Thankgabalu belongs to, are a confused lot today as they do not know to whom they should submit their applications since too many leaders have been claiming themselves as the ‘empowered agents' to receive the same in the district.

The confusion, according to party seniors, has stemmed from the recent announcement of TNCC President, ‘removing' the existing presidents of the Salem East District and West District Congress Committees, staunch supporters of G.K. Vasan, and also dismantling the entire units prior to local body polls. The nominations of new presidents to these district units, said to be close associates of TNCC President, have met with stiff opposition.

While the new presidents Kalleripatti Selvaraj (East district) and Edapadi Gopal (West district) have started accepting the applications from aspirant cadre, the ‘dismissed' ones have also been receiving the applications simultaneously in their respective offices saying that the TNCC leader has no powers to remove them. “I am the president of East Salem district and appointed by AICC and not by Thankgabalu,” says the former MP and ‘ousted' East president R. Devadoss, a Vasan supporter.

Mr. Devadoss has received nearly 120 applications till now from Congress cadre who wish to contest in local body polls from Attur, Narasingapuram, Talavasal, Pethanaickenpalayam and Gengavalli unions. “TNCC President's arbitrary act has spoiled the winning chances of Congress in Attur and other areas which traditionally favour Congress,” says a former MLA.

The ‘removed' West president R. R. Sekaran, also of Vasan camp, has asked his cadre and others to approach Satyamurthy Bhavan at Chennai directly.

The one unit that faces no glitches is the Salem Urban District unit, which is packed with Thankgabalu men. Its president S.D. Panneerselvam prefers to look on the brighter side saying the ‘dismissal' will have no bearing on the poll outcome. “We have received more than 170 applications for wards and about 10 for mayoral contest in Salem Corporation till today. The enthusiasm is quite surprising. Those in districts can also download applications from the net, as deadline also has been extended by two days due to inauspicious days of ashtam i and navami ” he says.

However, the ‘removal' of these two leaders, which according to Congress functionaries, is ill-timed and sure to affect the chances of Congress in the native district of TNCC President as it did in the last Parliament and Assembly polls.

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