‘Leader-cadre disconnect should end in TN Cong’

Mani Shankar Aiyar is of the view that the leader-cadre disconnect must end in Congress party if it wants to revive itself in Tamil Nadu.

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2012, 12:56 PM IST

New Delhi: People of Tamil Nadu adore the
Nehru-Gandhi family, but the Congress which has been out of power in the state for 45 years will continue to "helplessly" depend on Dravidian parties for "another 45 years" if the
leader-cadre disconnect continues, says Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Often called an `in-house` critic, the senior Congress
leader who hails from the southern state went into in-depth
faultfinding of why the party has not been able to galvanise
its cadres and return to St. George Fort, the seat of the
Tamil Nadu Government, at a function here last night.

Aiyar`s argument was that the Congress, which has an
organisation in the state, is not able to return to power as there is no connection between the leaders and cadres despite having an "asset" in the members of the first family who are respected in great measures by the people.
"We have been out of Fort St. George since 1967. It has
been 45 years. We may not see it for the next 45 years. The
Congress is there, leaders are there and cadres are also
there. But there is no connection between them. That
connection has to be made," he said after release of Tamil
version of the book `Sonia Gandhi: A Life History` here.

Tamil Nadu Congress President B S Gnanadesikan, former
TNCC president M Krishnasamy and Union Minister of State in
PMO V Narayanasamy were also present.
Though the Nehru-Gandhi family is adored by people, we
have to be "helplessly dependent either on a pallu (an
apparent reference to AIADMK led by J Jayalalithaa) or a
veshti (an apparent reference to DMK and M Karunanidhi)".

"The (Nehru-Gandhi) family is an asset in Tamil Nadu.
They have proven to be an asset. It is a bonding adhesive. We
have to use. We should not use the status of somebody else to
win or lose," he said.

PTI