Chennai

Congress junks panel to analyse byelection defeat

Intention was not to examine ties with DMK: TNCC chief

On instructions from the party high command, the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee has decided not to activate a five-member committee formed to look into the performance of the DMK-Congress alliance in the recently concluded byelection to the Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency.

TNCC president Su. Thirunavukkarasar has decided not to go ahead with his December 26 decision to form the committee. “We will have self-introspection. A separate committee is not necessary as the major ally has already constituted a committee,” he told The Hindu, referring to the DMK’s constitution of a three-member panel.

Mr. Thirunavukkarasar said that the committee, which was due to submit its report in four days, was not intended to examine the dynamics of the relationship between the Congress and the DMK. “We were only going to look at whether the Congress cadres worked in R.K. Nagar or not,” he said.

A senior Congress leader, who did not want to be identified, alleged that the Congress had angered its ally with the formation of the committee. “The DMK is not happy. Why should we appoint a committee? The TNCC president was asked by the AICC to take back his order constituting the committee,” he said.

The incident comes in the backdrop of continuing intra-party skirmishes centred around the demand for replacing Thirunavukkarasar as president. A Congress leader who did not want to be named cited a resolution of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) passed in October that authorised the AICC president to appoint a new PCC president and office-bearers. “In that sense, Mr. Thirunavukkarasar is a lame duck president. There can be a new appointment when our new president reorganises the AICC,” he said.

While the pro-DMK section of the Congress had opposed Mr. Thirunavukkarasar’s decision, there were others who believed that the R.K. Nagar results would open new doors. “The DMK had become too powerful. This loss gives us options to bargain: the DMK needs to capture power in the State much more than we want to in Delhi,” said another Congress leader.

Mr. Thirunavukkarasar said that he would continue to discharge his functions as president. “There are no guarantees given to anyone by the Congress leadership. It is up to the party president...he may appoint new office-bearers. I don’t want to predict anything but I have confidence in my president Rahulji,” he said.

A former TNCC president said that the resolutions like the one passed by the PCC in October were a matter of routine in the Congress. He said that the AICC president had made a new appointment in a fortnight when he was part of the intra-party election process in a different state. “The AICC president can choose to act on it whenever he chooses to. The fact that no new appointment has been made yet could be an indication that Mr. Thirunavukkarasar is still in Mr. Gandhi’s good books,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 4:46:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/congress-junks-panel-to-analyse-byelection-defeat/article22321359.ece

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