Chennai: Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President E V K S Elangovan has tendered his resignation owning up responsibility for the party's poor show in assembly elections after Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was claimed to have expressed his displeasure over the drubbing.
"Our party's state unit chief submitted his resignation on June 15 itself as electoral results were not on expected lines," party functionary V R Sivaraman, a confidant of Elangovan, told reporters.
Congress, which contested 41 seats as part of the DMK-led alliance, could manage only eight of them.
Factionalism in the party surfaced in the backdrop of the resignation of Elangovan with aspirants lobbying for the top state unit post. It is not yet known whether Elangovan's resignation has been accepted or not.
While factions opposed to Elangovan claimed that he put in his papers after Rahul Gandhi expressed displeasure over the party's poll performance, Sivaraman rejected it.
"Its not so. Rahul only told him (Elangovan) that the party could have done better and our chief answered that he did his best and also indicated that he was not averse to the idea of the party being led by someone with better abilities in TN," he told PTI.
Sivaraman said Elangovan quit owning moral responsbility for the party's performance. Elangovan had submitted his resignation in the office of party chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on June 15, a day after he called on Rahul Gandhi.
Elangovan's resignation also comes against the background of long-running feud among rival leaders including loyalists of former union minister P Chidambaram.
A loyalist of Chidambaram said "the choice of seats and the method of selecting them (for Assembly election) was incorrect. For example, constituencies where Congress had a winning chance were not demanded from DMK."
"Rahul Gandhi expressed his strong displeasure with the election outcome. Only then, Elangovan resigned. Also, Elangovan did not coordinate with other leaders for the poll campaign," he told PTI adding all such "inputs" had reached the office of "RG. (Rahul Gandhi)."
However, Elangovan's supporters dismissed the charges saying "all state leaders were taken onboard."
In April, ahead of the Assembly election, Chidambaram had expressed dissatisfaction over seat-sharing with DMK, saying his party was allotted "seats which we do not need."
The seat-sharing talks was steered by Elangovan in the presence of party senior leaders including Mukul Wasnik.
Meanwhile, several names have begun doing the rounds for the TNCC chief post. They include Chidambaram-loyalist and former Chennai Deputy Mayor Karate Thiagarajan, former state minister in the MGR cabinet Su Thirunavukarasar and former Lok Sabha MP Manicka Tagore.