PUDUCHERRY: The Congress office on Monday buzzed with expectations of a revival of the sagging party as A Namassivayam, MLA assumed charge as president of Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee. There was a great show of unity with the outgoing president A V Subramanian handing over charge to Namassivayam in the presence of AICC general secretary and former Union Minister V Narayanasamy, leader of opposition V Vaithilingam, MLA K Lakshminarayanan, former chief minister M D R Ramachandran, former ministers M O H F Shajahan and M Kandasamy, former MLAs, upcoming leaders and a host of party men.
The enthusiasm was such that it was hard to accommodate everyone inside the party office and several party men had to sit in the outside. Several cadres as well as junior leaders who had distanced themselves from the party were seen in the party office.
However, it was surprising to see Chief Minister N Rangasamy’s elder brother Adi Kesavan, who is the father-in-law of Namassivayam in the party office. In fact Adi Kesavan’s son Tamilselvan is the NR Congress MLA from Indira Nagar constituency.
There were other visible changes too, with the party office having a dash of resemblance to the NR Congress party office. The portrait of CM N Rangasamy’s Guru Appapaithiyasamy found place in the party office and was placed along side the portraits of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Namassivayam who has great faith in Appapaithiyasamy (whose blessings is believed to have been the guiding force in Rangasamy‘s success) has put up the portrait to get his blessings always, said a party man.
Despite the enthusiasm of a Congress revival, there was skepticism on whether by virtue of the advantage of the caste factor and closely related to Rangasamy, Namassivayam would be able to secure a good chunk of votes for the party, particularly in the rural areas, where Rangasamy has a strong hold. So far, the issues the party has been projecting -corruption, irregularities, misrule, law and order issues against the ruling NR Congress may not cut ice in rural belt, felt a partyman. If the NR Congress government succeeds in giving the laptops, mixie grinders, distribute enhanced old age pension, financial assistance to CENTAC students, the Congress will have a tough time.