Vasan May Push for Post at National Level - The New Indian Express

Vasan May Push for Post at National Level

Published: 22nd December 2013 08:38 AM

Last Updated: 22nd December 2013 08:38 AM

With senior Congress leader Jayanthi Natarajan resigning her ministerial post on Saturday apparently to don crucial roles in the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, a major churning in the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) seems inevitable.

Sources said while Jayanthi Natarajan may be drafted into important committees in the Central leadership involved in poll preparation, including those for drawing the party’s manifesto, she is also set to become Rahul Gandhi’s primary lieutenant in the Tamil Nadu unit that is being dominated by factions headed by Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan and Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

In fact, a TNCC source said Vasan too had been looking at the prospects of returning to a full-time party role since October. There were talks that he might be appointed as the TNCC chief in place of B S Gnanadesikan but the high command chose to stick to the non-controversial incumbent keeping in mind the possible backlash of such an appointment.

However, with the return of a heavyweight such as Jayanthi Natarajan to full-time party functioning, a senior functionary said Vasan too might push for a major party posting. “Though Jayanthi Natarajan is not considered a mass leader in Tamil Nadu, she is quite popular with the high command. With Chidambaram supporters already raising a flag on the dominance of Vasan faction in recent party meetings, it would be important for Vasan to spend more time here and consolidate,” said the party member who remains unattached to any of the major groups in the TNCC.

However, Vasan supporters differ. A general secretary of the TNCC said Vasan has enough people in the TNCC to take care of his interests here. It is New Delhi where he lacks an astute hand and, therefore, there was a stronger need for his personal presence in the capital.

“The TNCC chief himself is close to Vasan. Also, he comes to Tamil Nadu almost every week so there is no need to resign from the ministerial post. On the contrary, his presence in New Delhi will help especially with the elections just months away,” said the leader considered a Vasan loyalist.  Though both Vasan and Jayanthi were part of the Tamil Manila Congress which was floated by Vasan’s father G K Moopanar, the two leaders have drifted away from each other after the TMC’s merger with the parent party.

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