Chennai: Apparently eyeing 2014 Lok Sabha
polls and in need to rejuvenate itself at the grassroot level,
Congress in Tamil Nadu is in the process of selecting platform
speakers to reach out to the masses in order to highlight its
principles besides UPA government`s achievements.
"These platform speakers will be mainly used for
campaigning activities including public meetings and they will
highlight government`s policies and achievements besides
propagating our principles," TNCC president B S Gnanadesikan
Congress, which was pushed off the ruling saddle in Tamil
Nadu by DMK in the 1967 Assembly elections, has since found it
impossible to come back to power, aligning with either DMK or
AIADMK for survival.
AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has been insisting on
the need to rejuvenate Congress at the local level in the
state, asking supporters to reach out to the people.
The effort presumably aimed at the 2014 Lok Sabha polls
comes in the wake of AIADMK and DMK already taking steps to
emerge victorious at the hustings.
Seeking to play a larger role at the national level,
AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has asked
partymen to work to net all 40 seats (39 in Tamil Nadu and one
in Puducherry) while DMK`s strained relations with Congress
against the backdrop of the 2G spectrum scam has put the
future ties hanging in the balance.
The Congress` state unit once boasted of veteran speakers
like late thespian `Sivaji` Ganesan, lyricist Kannadasan, EVK
Sampath, TN Ananthanayagi, Nellai Kannan and `Tamizharuvi`
Manian (both former members), who could keep the crowds
spellbound with their oratorical skills, a key ingredient for
a party`s success mantra in state politics.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is also considered a
great speaker by partymen, known for his chaste Tamil and
ability to convey the most intricate issues in the simplest
terms to the masses.
In fact, it is an undeniable fact that DMK managed to
charm the masses through sheer oratory from the likes of the
late CN Annadurai, party chief M Karunanidhi and Sampath
himself, who had later parted ways with the Dravidian party,
using it as a ladder to cement its place in the state`s
On the latest initiative, Gnanadesikan said the selected
aspirants will be divided into state and district platform
speakers and imparted training in March.
"The selection process is based on one`s voice, tone and
command over the language," he said. An audition had been held
recently at Chennai.
Candidates have been finalised and they will be trained
outside Chennai, he said.
Asked if this was a preparation for the 2014 Lok Sabha
elections, Gnanadesikan asserted that the chosen speakers will
popularise government policies and achievements and the
Congress` principles among people.