As the Congress party has not announced the name of the candidate from the Villupuram Lok Sabha constituency, party campaigning has not gathered steam in the district. However, president of TN Congress Committee B S Gnanadesikan has assured that the candidate would be named within a day or two.
There was a time when the Congress had a strong presence in the district. The party had sent its representative to the Parliament from the Tindivanam constituency in 1962 as well as from 1971 to 1991. After delimitation in 2009, the Tindivanam constituency was declared defunct and Villupuram (SC) constituency came into being. K Ramamoorthy was the last Congress MP in Tindivanam, who was in power till 1996. After that the seat has always been allotted to their allies by the Congress.
Since Congress does not have an alliance in TN for the 2014 polls, party workers in Villupuram were excited at the prospect of campaigning for their own candidate after 18 long years. But that excitement seems to be fading as the party high-command has delayed the announcement of the candidate.
“Even fringe party workers are actively campaigning for their candidates in Villupuram. But even though we belong to a national party, we are forced to maintain silence as the name of our candidate is yet to be announced,” said a Congress worker.
However, TN congress committee president BS Gnanadesikan told Express, “We were in discussion to shift Chidambaram candidate P Vallalperuman to Villupuram. We had mooted Manirathanam’s name for Chidambaram. But suddenly, Manirathanam took a wrong decision and joined the PMK on Saturday and was also named the PMK candidate from Chidambaram.” He further added that the party high-command will announce the names of the two remaining candidates in TN and Puducherry, including Villupuram within a day or two. He also said that former IAS officer, P Sivakami, has requested to be named from Villupuram. The incumbent Congress MP from Rasipuram, K Rani too is in the running.