Congress could sail with DMDK


With the 2014 general elections less than two years away and the possibility of aligning with Ms Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK absolutely nil and the DMK having become a liability on account of the family feud and non-performance of its Central ministers, the Congress plans to strengthen its grassroots-level interaction with the public to emerge stronger on its own in Tamil Nadu.

At the same time, the Congress high command is conscious of the fact that the party cannot go to the polls without forging an alliance in the state.

Sources in the Congress say that Tamil Nadu, having 39 Lok Sabha seats, forms an important part in the party’s electoral calculus to notch up the required numbers in 2014.

As a first step towards reviving the party, sources said the outfit should express its opinion on any issue unmindful of what DMK president Karunanidhi or AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa might think about it.

For far too long, the party has held itself back on many issues for fear of antagonising its party’s alliance leader, sources said.

Secondly, the party has to reach out to the masses with regular interactive sessions at the local level.

And the leaders should stay in regular touch with the cadres to keep them motivated, sources added.
Then comes the question of forming an alliance at the time of the elections, they said.

Apart from strengthening itself, the Congress is desperately looking for an alliance partner, especially in Tamil Nadu, to see it through, the sources said.

The possibility of continuing with the DMK and roping in the DMDK of actor Vijayakanth is also not ruled out, sources mentioned.

In addition, the state unit is divided into various factions, which also is a bane and that needs to be overcome, pointed out the sources.

Dull response for enrolment drive in state

K. Karthikeyan | DC
Chennai, Sept. 8

Congress national leadership ‘dreams’ of securing a good number of seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the backdrop of a failed enrolment drive of the youth Congress and a squabbling state Congress committee that has not seen organisational rejig for over a decade now.

Even die-hard party optimists are unwilling to buy the argument that they could make a mark in the ensuing Lok Sabha poll.

Even senior YC functionaries admitted under condition of anonymity that this year’s membership drive saw a meager 70,000 enrollment, very much less than the 14 lakh claimed to be achieved by the party leadership after party general secretary Rahul Gandhi made whirlwind tours to the state a few years back.

Rahul Gandhi even deputed his close aide Sachin Rao to assess the miserable failure of YC membership drive late May.

“You cannot develop a party in a state by using laptop and Internet. This is serious politicking. You ought to reach out to the masses and connect with them and for that we do not need scholars from New Delhi but foot soldiers who work with the grassroots,” a TNCC chief sarcastically said.

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