Former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president EVKS Elangovan is unwilling to concede that this summer’s elections are the worst the Congress has ever faced in the State.
Notwithstanding the open reluctance of his senior colleagues including veterans like Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram to enter the fray after being electorally isolated, Elangovan insists that he is not worried.
“We are happy that we are contesting alone. We are not worried about going it alone. This would pave the foundation for facing the next Assembly elections,” he told Express on Wednesday. “It is the Dravidian parties which had not contested alone from the days of Anna (DMK founder) to Jayalalithaa (AIADMK leader). Our strength has not declined. We will win in a sizeable number of constituencies,” he claimed. Asked if the Congress was electorally isolated due to its shrinking vote bank, Elangovan said that such a situation has come around only because some political parties were carried away by the “imaginary” Modi ‘wave’. “They feel it would fetch votes. In Tamil Nadu, there is no Modi wave,” he said.
The Erode-based leader, who is the only prominent Congress man in State to have openly sought a LS seat to contest from Tirupur, disagreed with the proposition that the Congress has become electorally redundant.
Questioned whether the emergence of regional parties has led to erosion in the Congress’s sway over voters, Elangovan said, “I would say that these parties merely appear to have a political presence but their real strength has not been proved. I do agree that the PMK has a presence in the northern belt but I am not sure if it is because of their being well organised or violent.”
The DMDK, he felt, had won seats in the last Assembly elections only because of its alliance with the AIADMK.