Ex-MP's Exit Leaves Congress in Fix over Krishnagiri Seat
Days after its probable candidate for the Krishnagiri constituency, former MP Narasimhan, defected to the BJP, the Congress party is in a deep quandary as it struggles to identify a strong candidate for this constituency, which is one among its bastions, on the western end of the State.
With local functionaries not striking the right chord with the voters here, the party was mulling to field an outsider. Highly-placed sources claimed that the TNCC was sifting through the list of 18 applicants to come up with a name that would win the confidence of the electorate and the cadre as well.
Narasimhan was among the 19 aspirants vying for a ticket from Krishnagiri and given his influence, his selection was certain. However, a couple of days ago, he joined the BJP and said that he would support the NDA candidate for the seat.
Congress has a strong vote bank in all the six segments of Krishnagiri constituency. However, it would be unwise to contest without an alliance, said a party functionary on condition of anonymity.
Apart from party’s Assembly leader K Gopinath, who represents Hosur segment, there was no local leader, who could consolidate votes on his own, the leader observed.
Party sources pointed out that TNCC was negotiating with Dr A Chellakumar, AICC Secretary and former T Nagar MLA, to contest from Krishnagiri. Meanwhile, the sources said that the grassroots workers were upset with the top brass for the inordinate delay in identifying even a single ally. The suspense over the candidate was not helping matters either.
According to A Sivasubramaniam, a Congress functionary, “The situation has come to such a pass that the party is failing to make its presence felt in the all party meetings conducted by the District Electoral Officer.”
Summing up the entire situation, Prakasam Gowdu, a Congress supporter from Soolagiri, said that the party had failed to instil confidence among the people and it would not be a surprise if the voters deny it mandate in the upcoming election.
Congress has won in the constituency 14 times in 16 elections since independence. TNCC president Vazhapadi Ramamurthy won from here four consecutive times from 1980 to 1991. Other stalwarts include former Union Minister C Subramaniam and C R Narasimhan.