CHENNAI: The statement by a group of Congress functionaries demanding the ouster of B S Gnanadesikan from the post of State party president over the Lok Sabha election result descended into a head-on factional slugfest on Friday. A counter statement was issued by another group of functionaries, loyalists of former Union minister G K Vasan, who launched a full frontal attack on Union Minister P Chidambaram whose followers had demanded Gnanadesikan’s removal on Thursday.
The statement was jointly issued by nine State vice presidents, the treasurer, 19 general secretaries, 35 district presidents and the chief of the trade union.
“It is a big mistake to have released such a statement instead of thinking of party discipline or growth, at a time when the party has been defeated across the country. This demand has been spurred with the backing of P Chidambaram, despite the knowledge that the party has faced rejection across the nation and has failed to win even a single seat in 10 States,” read the statement.
“We should ask if they are ready to speak about what those who issued the statement, all of whom have received posts because of Chidambaram’s recommendation, have done for the party,” it added.
The statement by the Vasan clique then launched a scathing personal attack on Chidambaram, finding fault with him for failing to control the economic slowdown, inflation and price rise, which it said were the reasons for the defeat of the Congress.
It accused Chidambaram of partitioning Andhra Pradesh in haste, a move which ended up weakening the Congress party.
The Vasan cabal said Chidambaram had visited Sathyamurthy Bhavan, the State headquarters of the Congress, only once in the past two-and-a-half years. It accused him of not campaigning in any constituency but Sivaganga, where his son Karti was the candidate. The statement added that any grouse could have been taken to the party high command, instead of being dragged out in public.