The All India Congress Committee general secretary K C Venugopal on Thursday announced the suspension of ‘Karate’ Thiagarajan, South Chennai District Congress president and right hand man of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, for “anti-party activities”.
Thiagarajan had said the party should be ready to go it alone in the coming local body elections. This was in response to senior DMK leader K N Nehru’s comment that the DMK should not carry the Congress on it shoulders in the local polls too as it did in the just ended Lok Sabha polls and Tamil Nadu Assembly by-elections.
Not only that, the DMK ignored the Congress plea to help former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh go to the Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu though it could have easily accommodated him as it could get three members elected with its strength of 100 in the House. Even if it has promised one seat to Marumalarchi DMK leader Vaiko, it still has two in its hands.
This has led to speculation that the DMK is trying to distance itself from the Congress following its drubbing in the polls at the national level though it did reasonably well in Tamil Nadu. It was in this backdrop that Thiagarajan said the party should be prepared to go it alone in the local body elections.
Reacting to the action, Thiagarajan denied he had spoken against Congress president Rahul Gandhi. He said:”I have been suspended many times before. I don’t know whether this action has been taken under external or internal pressure”.
The AICC said the action was taken on the basis of the recommendation by the general secretary in charge of Tami Nadu and chairman of the disciplinary action committee Kumari Ananthan that Thaiagarajan had frequently been breaching discipline. It said the suspension would come into immediate effect.
The present TNCC chief K S Alagiri is a loyalist of Chidambaram like Thiagarajan. The action against Thiagarajan shows that infighting in the party has intensified again.