Rattled Congress seniors sit out of elections

Rattled Congress seniors sit out of elections

Rattled Congress seniors sit out of elections

The forthcoming Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu promises to be challenging for Congress as several of its heavyweights have passed up the chance to contest.

Congress leaders like its state unit president EVKS Elangovan and his predecessor KV Thangabalu are excusing themselves saying they would like to make way for youngsters, though TNCC sources said they are discouraged by the poor pre-poll projections.

“We feel stronger this time after striking a deal with the DMK,” a senior TNCC leader told Deccan Herald. “However, we have to take on AIADMK, DMDK-PWF and the BJP in all constituencies.”

Letting pass the chance to contest also seems like the trend among those who left Congress. TMC leader and former union shipping minister GK Vasan has decided to stay out with the same excuse as the Congress veterans.

“We are giving opportunity for the younger generation. Ninety per cent of our candidates will be youth leaders,” Vasan said about the election, the first the party would be contesting after being revived in November 2014.

His former party colleagues Peter Alphonse and former Lok Sabha MP Viswanathan, who returned to the Congress fold having disagreed with Vasan on the alliance strategy, are also staying out of the polls.

The multi-cornered contest in the 2016 polls has rattled many of the Congress leaders, who do not see a chance in a crowded field.

They also feel that the party could not get constituencies where its chances are brighter while negotiating with the DMK.

Party insiders believe it could win about four or five seats out of the 41 it is contesting, based on the assessment made after factoring-in the multi-cornered contest and the strength of the opposition.

This is a déjà vu moment for Congress, which also saw its senior leaders P Chidambaram, Jayanthi Natarajan and GK Vasan sit out of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, where projections showed the party would take a bad beating.

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