Tamil Nadu

Four MLAs in race for Congress Legislative Party leader post

The Congress high command is in a fix as four MLAs are in the race for the post of Congress Legislative Party leader (CLP).

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president K.S. Alagiri has convened a meeting of party MLAs on Monday at Sathyamurthy Bhavan to elicit their opinion on the CLP leader. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Puducherry MP V. Vaithilingam and Dinesh Gundu Rao, who is in charge of party affairs in Tamil Nadu, will participate in the meeting.

S. Vijayadharani, who was elected from Vilavancode for the third time, J.C. Prince, representing Colachel for the third time, two-time MLA S. Rajesh Kumar elected from Killiyoor and Selvaperunthagai, representing Sriperumbudur constituency, are in the race.

“Six of the MLAs belong to Nadar community. Caste is one aspect. We should also keep in mind that Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli districts have elected seven Congress MLAs,” said a senior leader, making a case for a leader from this community.

Even though Ms. Vijayadharani and Mr. Prince are the seniors among the MLAs, the high command is not fully in favour of them. In fact, their names could not find a place in the first list of the Congress candidates. As for Mr. Selvaperunthagai, he has entered the Assembly for the second time. The first time, he was elected as a member of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK).

Party sources said another senior MLA A.M. Munirathinam, representing Sholingar, is not interested in the post.

Of the 18 Congress MLAs, 11 of them are new faces and they are interested in electing Mr. Rajesh Kumar from Killiyoor. But it is only for the high command to decide the candidate.

“This is the first time we have MLAs who have not openly identified themselves with any faction in the Congress. We also do not want to support a particular candidate. We have left it to the MLAs to make a choice. When a few MLAs approached us for our opinion, we have advised them to act according to their preference,” explained another senior TNCC leader.

A Congress MP, who has been invited for the meeting, said it would serve the party well if there was an election for the CLP post.

“Secret ballot is the best way to elect the leader,” said another senior leader.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 6:52:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/four-mlas-in-race-for-congress-legislative-party-leader-post/article34569115.ece

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