Chennai/New Delhi: The already depleted Congress seems headed for a setback with former Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan on Saturday giving ample indications of breaking away from the party and reviving the erstwhile Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC).
The virtual plans for a split by Vasan, whose father G K Moopanar had floated the TMC in 1996 in Tamil Nadu, emerged even as E V K S Elangovan was appointed as the new TNCC President with Congress accepting the resignation of B S Gnanadesikan, who was upset over his "neglect" by AICC. Vasan had yesterday come out in Gnanadesikan's support.
"I will announce my next plan of action on November 3," Vasan told reporters in Chennai after holding consultations for the second day with his supporters, which included former MLAs Vellore Gnanasekaran and Vidiyal Sekar.
Raising the "Valamana Tamilagam, Valimayana Bharatham," (prosperous Tamil Nadu, vibrant India) slogan coined during the founding of TMC by his father, Vasan left no one in doubt about his next plan. TMC later merged with Congress in 2002.
"In Tamil Nadu, the movement (Congress) can be strengthened only by invoking the legacy of Kamaraj and Moopanar," he said in an obvious reference to the tussle with the high command over the issue of membership cards.
He and his supporters like 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."
Making no bones about his displeasure over the party high command, including the party in-charge for Tamil Nadu, Mukul Wasnik, G K Vasan in reply to a question, accused the high command of having "ulterior motive".
"When Gnanadesikan (Vasan loyalist) wanted to speed up the membership drive, the diktat of the AICC to postpone it had an ulterior motive."
In Delhi, Wasnik announced that Congress President Sonia Gandhi has appointed Elangovan as the new TNCC chief.
Elangovan had earlier also served as TNCC chief and was a Minister of State in UPA-I.