Chennai, Sept 23 (BPNS)
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) state leadership is on a firefighting mode to try and persuade several party local leaders who have filed nomination papers against the party ally and big brother in the state coalition, DMK.
When the last date for filing of nominations for the rural local body polls to be held on October 6 and October 9 has come to an end on September 22, Congressmen have filed nomination papers in many seats much to the anguish of the state party leadership.
However, district Congress leaders are of the opinion that they were treated badly by the DMK district leaderships and had not provided seats to prominent party leaders including the party district leaders.
In South Tamil Nadu, the DMK had parted with some seats to the Congress as the national party have some strength. The DMK provided 15 % of the total seats in Tenkasi district for the Congress party but in North Tamil Nadu the grand old national party had to be satisfied with 3 % to 5% seats.
Districts like Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Ranipet, Tirupattur, and Villupuram have many Congressmen filing nominations as rebel candidates and state leadership are having an uphill task to persuade these leaders to withdraw from the candidature.
The last date of withdrawal of nominations is on September 25.
In Villupuram North, even the party district president was denied a seat by the DMK after the electoral arena is wide open following the powerful Vanniiyar party, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) walked out of the AIADMK alliance.
Congress as of Wednesday night will contest 9 of the 140 ward councilor posts in district panchayaths and 63 of the 1381 ward councilor posts in panchayath unions.
The DMK even refused to provide any seat in panchayath unions in Anaikattu, Vellore, and Katpadi for the Congress candidates, and even the former Chairman of Vellore panchayath and popular Congress leader, C.K. Devendran was not given a seat. He has filed the nomination papers on his own and the Congress state leadership is on bargaining mode for this seat with the DMK state leadership.
It may be noted that in the rural local body elections, both the DMK and AIADMK bank heavily on the inputs from their respective district leadership, and the state leadership of the parties does not generally intervene on the list provided by the district leaderships.
R. Padmanabhan, Political analyst and Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a Madurai-based think tank while speaking to BPNS said, “The DMK district leaders clearly know the strength and weakness of the Congress. If Congress had strength just like they have in Tenkasi district, more seats would have been provided. Unfortunately, Congress is a spent force in several parts of the state and hence this step-motherly treatment.”