Cong leaders wary of contesting polls

Cong leaders wary of contesting polls

Wary of adverse results, several Congress ministers are not keen on contesting the Lok Sabha elections, and are instead opting to merely campaign for others, multiple party sources have told Deccan Herald.

Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan, who is upset with the Congress’ failure to strike an alliance in Tamil Nadu, announced that  he will not contest the Lok Sabha elections. Vasan is a member of the Rajya Sabha.

“I am not contesting this election. I am one of the main campaigners who wants to ensure the victory of Congress candidates by touring all the 39 seats in the state,” he said, after his efforts to lure alliance partners, including the DMK and DMDK, failed to fructify recently.

With Vasan - considered one of the few Congress leaders with mass support in TN - removing himself from contention, other party seniors are also thinking of exiting the fray.

According to a senior party leader, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram is also reluctant to contest. He would prefer to take the Rajya Sabha route to Parliament and wants his son, Karti, to contest from his Sivaganga seat. Chidambaram did not have a smooth victory in the 2009 polls, after it was initially announced that he had lost. In a recount, the finance minister managed a slender victory, which is still being contested in court.

Even former environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, E V K S Elangovan and former TNCC chief K V Thangabalu - who had earlier evinced interest in getting a Congress ticket - do not want to contest the polls. From other parts of India, I&B Minister Manish Tewari , Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot and Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa are have also reportedly declined to immerse themselves in the electoral fray.

Some Congress leaders explained this line of thinking by citing vice president Rahul Gandhi, who had asked office bearers to consider whether they would be able to devote time to the tasks assigned to them.

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