Free Press Journal

TN Cong Chief in Delhi to chalk out poll strategy


Chennai: With the Congress isolated and facing the prospect of going it alone in the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu where 39 seats are at stake, the state unit leadership is set to hold talks with central leaders on its strategy for the April 24 elections.

Congress’ last ditch efforts to forge an alliance with the DMK was reportedly stonewalled by its senior leader M K Stalin while actor-politician Vijaykanth-led DMDK, wooed by it, has chosen to embrace the BJP combine.

TNCC President B S Gnanadesikan, now camping in New Delhi, said he would consult central leaders to finalise the party’s strategy.

“We need to go ahead. We need to plan and work for elections…I am here to consult our leaders,” he told PTI.

Used to ride piggy-back on either of the two major Dravidian parties, DMK or AIADMK, the Congress is left with no other option but to take the electoral plunge on its own, after a gap of 16 years when it drew a blank.

While AIADMK is contesting on its own all 40 seats, including one in neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry, DMK has firmed up an alliance with IUML, MMK, VCK and Puthiya Tamizhagam.

Left parties are also left with no allies after their alliance with AIADMK collapsed over seat sharing.

Party sources indicated that the Congress would have to field candidates in all 39 constituencies to “save face.”

The party has received around 1,000 applications seeking tickets to fight the polls from all districts.

However, many applicants had sought ticket on behalf of their chosen leaders in select constituencies.

About 800 applications were from actual aspirants, the sources said.

In the 2009 elections, Congress, a partner in the DMK-led DPA, had contested 16 seats and won nine of them, while the front itself claimed an impressive 28 seats.

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