Chennai: In a surprise development, Karate Thyagrajan, former Deputy Mayor of Chennai corporation and a strong supporter of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, has been suspended from the party "with immediate effect".
K C Venugopal, general secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu, All India Congress Committee (AICC), said in a release on Thursday that the AICC has approved the proposal for taking "stern disciplinary action" against the South Chennai district Congress president "for his frequent anti-party activities and breach of discipline."
Based on the recommendation, Karate Thyagarajan has been suspended from the Congress with immediate effect. The development comes in the wake of Thyagarajan joining issue with the DMK Tiruchy strongman, KN Nehru recently suggesting that DMK jettison the Congress from the alliance and contest the coming Local Bodies polls "on its own".
While the TNCC president K S Azhagiri, had already stated that Congress-DMK ties will continue for the Local Bodies polls also and asked his party men not to talk at cross-purposes over the alliance issue after Mr Nehru played down his call, Karate Thyagarajan took the DMK functionary to task for his anti-Congress remarks.
This came as a huge embarrassment to the TNCC, forcing disciplinary action against the outspoken Congress functionary by the party high command. The action against Thyagarajan is also a strong indication that the AICC will not brook any act that could weaken the DMK-Congress political understanding in Tamil Nadu, which had recently swept the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
Further, the AICC has approved the constitution of a 'disciplinary action committee' of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC). The committee announced by Mr. KC Venugopal, includes senior party leader Mr Kumari Ananthan, KR Ramaswamy, Congress legislative party leader in the State Assembly, Mrs D Yashodha, ex-CLP leader, U Balaraman, former MLA, RM Palanisamy, former MLA, SM Hitayadullah and Thambi Vijayakumar. Reacting to the development, Karate Thyagarajan said he did not understand the reason why he was suspended from the party as he not criticised the party high command or said anything against the party. "I will meet senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and clarify the position," he said. "This is nothing unusual in the Congress where people are frequently suspended and taken back. In 2011, former TNCC president K V Thangkabalu had taken similar action against me and then I was taken back in the party," Karate Thyagarajan added, playing down the action taken against him....