CHENNAI: With most of the senior State Congress leaders taking their fight against Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president E V K S Elangovan to the high command, party president Sonia Gandhi has left it to vice president Rahul Gandhi, who is said to be averse to sack Elangovan at a time when the Assembly elections are just six months away.
Party sources said the dissident leaders, including former Union ministers P Chidambaram and K V Thangkabalu met Rahul Gandhi last week, but were unable to convince him on Elangovan’s removal. So, they decided to meet Sonia Gandhi to request her to direct Rahul to accept their demand. However, Sonia is said to have advised Rahul to consider the issue on merits. And Rahul is expected to take the final call in a week or two.
With the Assembly elections six months away and all the parties commencing the election work, the Congress leadership is worried that a change in leadership at this juncture would disturb the entire organisation and cause further harm to party prospects at the hustings.
However, since most of the senior leaders have expressed their grievances against Elangovan, brushing them aside entirely could invite resentment and non-cooperation during the polls. So, the party may opt to take the middle road by creating some parallel power centres in the TNCC, which could ensure checks and balances.
The second option for Rahul could be to appoint a young leader close to him and bring the entire Tamil Nadu unit under his direct supervision and control.
“I am ready to accept any decision that is taken by the high command,” asserted Elangovan on Tuesday. Having said that, he lit into K V Thangkabalu who levelled a series of allegations against him and openly said that he had sought Elangovan’s removal. Reacting to posers over his honesty, Elangovan said: “Everyone in Tamil Nadu knows how much property my family had. I am ready to prove that my property has come down after my political entry. But, Thangkabalu came to Rangarajan Kumaramangalam’s house claiming he was a poet.”
He asked Thangkabalu to release the details of his property after he entered politics. To queries on allegations that he was not co-ordinating with other leaders, Elangovan said he was not worried about the charge, as his emphasis was more on coordination with party workers as that was of primary important.