Chennai: The Congress party split in Tamil Nadu on Monday as former Union shipping minister GK Vasan announced his plans of reviving the erstwhile Tamil Manila Congress (TMC) floated by his father GK Moopanar.
“I have decide to follow a new political path”, Vasan said while addressing reporters in Chennai.
The decision for a split by Vasan emerged even as EVKS Elangovan was appointed as the new Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president with Congress accepting the resignation of BS Gnanadesikan, who was reportedly upset over his “neglect” by the All India Congress Commitee.
Vasan had on Friday come out in Gnanadesikan’s support.
Vasan had also raised the “Valamana Tamilagam, Valimayana Bharatham (Prosperous Tamil Nadu, Vibrant India)” slogan coined during the founding of TMC by his father. The TMC had merged with the Congress in 2002.
“In Tamil Nadu, the movement (Congress) can be strengthened only by invoking the legacy of Kamaraj and Moopanar,” he had said in an obvious reference to the tussle with the high command over the issue of membership cards.
He and his supporters like former legislator Vellore Gnanadesikan had alleged that the Congress high command had not allowed them to use images of Kamaraj and Moopanar in the cards.
The high command has, however, denied this.
Describing the situation arising out of the resignations of his followers Gnanadesikan and treasurer Covai Thangam as “abnormal,” Vasan said even after this, the AICC’s denial to “allegations” were “unacceptable.”
“I express with grief the wrong political approach (done) in the name of very important leaders of the party,” he said in a reference to the high command not toeing the line of his group in the party on issues, including membership cards.
The controversy over images of Congress icons Kamaraj and Moopanar on the cards had infuriated party workers, he alleged.
“AICC’s deeds in the past several years have been against the mood of the cadres, be it party affairs or on key issues concerning Tamil Nadu people,” he said.
“Especially post the Lok Sabha debacle, the AICC had ignored the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee and as a result the party apparatus is in a lull.”
Recently, in reply to a question, Vasan accused the high command of having an “ulterior motive”.
“When Gnanadesikan wanted to speed up the membership drive, the diktat of the AICC to postpone it had an ulterior motive,” he said.
The development could not have come at a worse time for the Congress, which recorded its worst performance in the April-May general election, managing to win only 44 seats. It also lost power in Haryana and Maharashtra in last month’s assembly polls, causing a lot of concern among the party cadres.