Cong to induct new faces after Lok Sabha polls to stay relevant in TN politics

Chennai, May 20 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Congress President, K Selvaperunthagai, said at a recent public meeting that the party needs to recapture power to get political respect from its alliance partner DMK.

Selvaperunthagai’s statement is considered an attempt by the party leadership to motivate its cadres, who have complained of ill-treatment by the DMK’s local leaders.

The last time the Congress was in power in Tamil Nadu was in 1967 when the iconic DMK leader, CN Annadurai defeated the party led by M Bhaktavatsalam and gained power.

Bhaktavatsalam was the last Congress Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and since then the party was being relegated to the background by Dravidian majors, DMK and AIADMK.

Sources in the Congress told IANS that the grand old party will effect a change after the results of the Lok Sabha elections on June 4 and that the party President wants to infuse young blood into the leadership.

Young professionals and social activists drawn from all sections of the society are being targeted by the party leadership to be inducted into the Congress and given key positions.

The Congress won 8 seats out of the 9 it contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in an alliance with the DMK.

In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections also the Congress contested from 9 seats after strong positioning by the party leadership against the DMK move to cut its seats.

The Congress last contested on its own in 1989 and had garnered only 4.5 per cent votes while in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections it received 12.61 per cent votes in alliance with the DMK.

Interestingly, the BJP has broken away from the alliance with the Dravidian major AIADMK and formed an alliance with the PMK and smaller parties in this General Election.

A senior leader of the Congress told IANS, “The BJP has already set an example and the Congress must also try and assert itself. Otherwise, the party will always have to play second fiddle to either of the Dravidian majors in Tamil Nadu politics. The party has to revamp itself and fresh faces must lead it so that the party gains trust from the grassroots and gains maximum seats.”

Political parties like Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and many others have erupted in Tamil Nadu representing different sections of society and the Congress has to find a space of its own to garner traction in state politics.

Coimbatore-based psephologist and political analyst, George Thomas told IANS, “The Congress always has a space in Tamil Nadu and it has to assert its secular credentials and national outlook for emerging on its own. However, there is risk involved and the road ahead is not rosy. If the party decides to snap ties with the DMK, then it has to work hard from the grassroots and emerge on its own, which is a tough call.”



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