Chennai: Unrest seems to be brewing in the
sharply divided Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress, after the
"unilateral" en masse expulsion of 19 partymen by TNCC
president K V Thangkabalu, triggering demands for action
A day after the April 13 Assembly elections, Thangkabalu
expelled 19 persons including former Chennai Deputy Mayor
`Karate` S Thyagarajan and actor-politician S Ve Shekher, who
had quit AIADMK earlier, for "anti-party activities".
A section of Congressmen attributed "personal" reasons
behind the action of Thangkabalu, the party`s Mylapore
(Chennai) candidate, whose authority for taking such action
has been challenged by them.
Party sources claimed that the expelled functionaries,
which included seven Youth Congress office-bearers, were
removed as they had raised slogans against Thankgabalu at an
election rally addressed by Congress general secretary Rahul
Thyagarajan, who termed the expulsion as "betrayal" by
Thangkabalu, said the TNCC president had no right or
qualification to expel him.
"He had expelled me, Shekher and others without issuing
notices and this is a unilateral act," he said.
He added that Thangkabalu had no right to expel YC
members as that was "beyond his jurisdiction."
State YC president M Yuvaraja echoed similar views and
said if Thangkabalu had any problems with the YC workers, he
should have informed its leadership.
Former TNCC president EVKS Elangovan demanded that the
party high command take action against Thangkabalu, while AICC
member Karti Chidambaram said he had taken up the matter with
his father and Congress Working Committee member Union Home
Minister P Chidambaram.
Some party workers burnt effigies of Thangkabalu,
protesting against the expulsion of the 19 members.
Thangkabalu, a former MP, has been facing tough times
from the party cadre, especially after the candidates were
announced for the 63 seats Congress contested under a poll tie
up with DMK.
He had to face the wrath of supporters of some leaders
who, denied tickets, went even to the extent of damaging
property at TNCC headquarters, Satyamurthy Bhavan.
Thankgabalu drew further flak when his wife Jayanthy was
initially nominated as party candidate from Mylapore whose
candidature was rejected on technical grounds.
Ultimately, Thangkabalu himself turned out to be
Congress` Mylapore candidate as he had filed his nomination as
a dummy candidate.