CHENNAI: The inherent fissiparous tendency among Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu has raised its head again after the party headquarters was rocked by a violent clash on November 15, prompting several aspirants to throw in their hat for the post of TNCC president and also opening up a possibility of a woman getting the top job for the first time in history.
The members of a caucus, who expressed their displeasure over K.S. Algiri continuing as the TNCC president on the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi by boycotting the official event, are camping at New Delhi to meet leaders like Sonia Gandhi and K.C. Venugopal. It is learnt that two prominent women leaders, Karur MP Jothimani Sennimalai and Vilavancode MLA S Vijayadharani, are also vying for the post.
Though the appointment of one of them would make history as the TNCC has never been headed by a woman, it is not known if the party high command would pick one of the vociferous women at a time when the party has to face a Lok Sabha election in about one and a half years. On the other hand, the other leaders, most of whom have headed the TNCC in the past, are determined to have Alagiri replaced.
Among those who called on Congress President Mallkarjun Kharge and gave a representation on Monday, demanding Alagiri’s expulsion include E.V.K.S. Elangovan, K V Thangabalu, M Krishnasamy (all former heads of TNCC) and the leader of the Congress party in the Assembly K Selvaperunthagai.
It seemed that the traditional rifts, ignited periodically by the enduring rivalry among its leaders, had come to an end for it was not showing up in the open ever since Alagiri took over as president in February 2019. He, too, managed to lead the TNCC, in an alliance with the DMK, successfully in two elections, one for the Lok Sabha and the other for the Assembly.
But TNCC treasurer and Nanguneri MLA, ‘Ruby’ R Manoharan, ferrying six busloads of his supporters to Sathyamurthy Bhavan to intimidate the state leaders and create a scene knocked the bottom out of the unity giving rise to the demand for Algiri’s removal suddenly and prepping up too many aspirants for the post.
Even if most of the Delhi-bound leaders, now canvassing for the change of guard, might not get another chance as they already held the post, it is said that they all have their own nominees - progenies or man Fridays – while the two women leaders are fighting it out with the help of their contacts in the AICC.
Another Congress leader with contacts in AICC who had shown interest in the post is Virudhunagar MP, Manickam Tagore, said sources in the party, adding that it was not clear as to how many others were pulling strings silently with the aid of top State and national leaders.
The sources also said that Manoharan was now backing the caucus upping the ante for the removal of Alagiri mainly because he has already been issued a show cause notice on his creating a ruckus on November 15. Only if Alagiri is replaced immediately, he will be able to get away with it all, a source said....