CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president EVKS Elangovan on Sunday left for New Delhi amid reports that AICC president Sonia Gandhi has summoned him to seek an explanation for issuing a statement insinuating that former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his son should quit the party.
However, Elangovan’s aides insisted that their leader had flown to the capital to campaign among Tamil voters to vote for the Congress in the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections. To buttress their claim they pointed out that actress Khushbu, who had joined the party last year, has also accompanied him to add ‘star power’ to the campaign.
On Friday, when former Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had quit the Congress, Elangovan had reacted saying her exit would cleanse the party. He added that the Congress would attain salvation if another politician and his heir were also to quit. Though he did not name the leader, protests by supporters of Chidambaram and Karti
the same evening had led to the inference that Elangovan had actually pointed fingers at them. Meanwhile, Elangovan went on the back foot and told a Tamil daily that his barbs were not aimed at Chidambaram and his son.
“The reference was general and not specific to any individual,” he had said.
Nonetheless, the TNCC chief, known to be outspoken, acknowledged that Sonia had spoken to him over phone on the issue. “She asked me if I had made any remarks on Chidambaram. I told her that I did not mention anyone by name,” he said in the interview.
When asked about his earlier statement that Karti would be expelled from the party if he did not reply to a showcause notice for conducting an “unauthorised” meeting, the TNCC leader said he would discuss the issue with Sonia. However, jubilant supporters of Chidambaram claimed that Elangovan was rebuked by Sonia.