CHENNAI: P Chidambaram is at it again! The former Union minister has started singing the old tune of absence of youngsters in the party, causing embarrassment to the State leadership. While stating the obvious, he might be batting for an enhanced role for youth in the party.
The timing of the Congress veteran voicing his concern days ahead of vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Tamil Nadu could not be missed. For, it could be seen as a comment on Rahul Gandhi’s potential to attract the youth. Political observers maintain that Chidambaram’s comments were not far from the truth as the party does not have the ideological fire to lure the youth.
Writer V M S Suba Gunarajan, who finds merit in Chidambaram’s view, said, “Congress no more holds the ideological attraction for the youth in Tamil Nadu. Even the Hindutva groups are able to lure them with their slogans. For youth who see politics as a career too, the Congress is not an option, as it remains out of power for nearly five decades.”
While many top leaders in the faction-ridden TNCC refused to comment, a functionary said, “Chidambaram is a senior leader. His intention would have been to draw the attention of the party leadership to certain lacunae that need to be addressed. It is like a doctor diagnosing a disease before making the right prescription. As such, it is made not to harm but only to treat the patient.”
Chidambaram had made similar remarks during the birth anniversary celebrations of Jawaharlal Nehru. While other speakers compared Nehru’s democratic credentials with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘individualistic functioning’, he chose to dwell on the limitations and defects ailing the Congress in the State. Stressing the need for the youth to take over the party organisation, he wanted at least a 45-year-old to lead the TNCC. Earlier, his son Karti Chidambaram drew flak of making a popular leader as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate in Tamil Nadu, citing the example of BJP projecting Narendra Modi and winning the LS elections.