New Delhi: The Congress on Saturday night released a list of its 21 candidates for the April 6 assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and for the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha bye-election.
The list was issued after a meeting of the Congress' central election committee chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi. The Congress is contesting 25 of the 234 seats in the Tamil Nadu assembly, with the DMK fighting on a majority of the seats.
The Congress also announced its candidate for the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha bye-elections, fielding V Vijayakumar from the seat.
A rift seems to have emerged inside the Congress over seat allocation. A protest over the allocation of tickets for the polls, led by the Congress Lok Sabha MP Vishnu Prasad, was called off after an assurance by the party's state chief KS Alagiri on the issue.
Tamil Nadu Congress president Alagiri stated: "We are discussing with all the cadres and their views are being taken. We will inform the party's high command in Delhi about the developments. The final decision on the issue will be taken by them. It's our responsibility to take all our party members' views and inform the high command."
On March 7, Congress and DMK signed a pact wherein Congress decided for contesting 25 constituencies for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state. DMK will contest for 173 seats.
However, Congress Lok Sabha MP Vishnu Prasad on Saturday expressed displeasure over seat allocation of candidates by the party for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state.
"A candidate who joined DMK last month has been recalled by Congress and given ticket to represent the party from Sholinghur constituency who lost many times from the same constituency. The party should not give tickets to those who have re-joined the party. Hence, to express our dissatisfaction, we had carried out this protest. Now, after being given assurances from our party, we announced our withdrawal from the protests," Prasad told ANI.
Congress' Karur Member of Parliament (MP) Jothimani took to Twitter to support the cadre alleging that the party was selecting the wrong candidates. The Congress leader slammed the party and said that the party was not ready to take their suggestions and added that even candidates who have winning chances were being ignored.
"I am aware of the agitated state of minds of cadres. There is no transparency in the selection of candidates. There are many mistakes, about which I had raised questions. There is no response yet. Congress is made of cadres blood and hard work. To destroy that, no one has moral rights," she said.
She said: 'It is unacceptable that those who have worked for the party for many years, those who have remained true loyalists and those who have winning chances are being ignored. It is atrocious that only those with money power could get seats."
In the 2016 Assembly elections, the AIADMK won 134 seats, DMK bagged 89 seats and Congress won 8 seats. The Congress had contested 41 assembly seats in the last assembly polls.
Voting for the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly will take place on April 6. The results will be announced on May 2.
(With inputs from agencies)