Congress in troubled waters in Tamil Nadu

Congress in troubled waters in Tamil Nadu

With the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and frequent attacks on Indian fishermen taking the centre stage in Tamil Nadu ahead of the April 24 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress finds itself isolated in the electoral race, with almost all political outfits choosing to stay away from it.

With both AIADMK and DMK shutting the doors, the Congress in Tamil Nadu may contest the parliamentary polls without an alliance with either of the two major Dravidian parties. 

Putting up a brave face, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B S Gnanadesikan on Wednesday said the party would contest all 39 seats if it does not find any electoral partner in the state.

“It is not right to say the party is politically isolated. The party high command is still holding talks with several prospective allies,” he said.

In 1998, when the Congress contested alone, it drew a blank with many contestants losing their deposits. The Congress was sending its members to the Lok Sabha riding piggyback on the AIADMK or the DMK for a long time.

In the backdrop of corruption charges against the UPA government, the Congress’ situation in the state has worsened with the party's stand opposing release of seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Marching ahead of the others, AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had directed the release of the convicts, including Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan and Nalini, which was welcomed by all political parties including the DMK. 

The Congress was also at pains giving a convincing explanation for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on the sidelines of BIMSTEC in Myanmar on Tuesday. 

The meeting came amid growing clamour in the state for an India-sponsored separate resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes. India had voted in support of the earlier US-sponsored resolutions on the issue.

Adding to the Congress woes, political parties the state have made a big issue over the latest arrest of 32 fishermen by the Lankan navy on Tuesday.

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