The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC), piggy-back riding on the popularity of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and relying on the huge network of DMK, is expecting a repeat of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll results.
In 2019, the Congress that contested nine Lok Sabha seats won all eight except for Theni, where O.P. Raveendranathan, son of former Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam (OPS) defeated senior Congress leader and former Union Minister, E.V.K.S. Elangovan.
With the elections likely in April or May 2024, the Congress party is aiming for an increase in the number of seats and sources in the party told IANS that the Congress would pitch in for 15 Lok Sabha seats from the nine it contested in the 2019 polls.
The Congress Tamil Nadu leadership, according to senior party leaders is pitching for 15 seats to get at least 10 or at the most 12 seats from the DMK. The party will be pitching on the huge win it achieved in Karnataka and how the party has single-handedly won the state of Karnataka against all odds.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president, K.S. Alagiri, while speaking to IANS said: “The Congress is a national political party and we will put our demands before the DMK. I can’t divulge the details of what we will be discussing. Congress has all the rights for what it wants in the polls and the victory of Karnataka is not a single phenomenon and nationally it has a bearing.”
Alagiri added: “Tamil Nadu is another important state wherein people have put the BJP at bay and here the Secular Progressive Alliance led by DMK in which Congress is a partner will have a crushing win.”
Sources in the Congress party told IANS that the party has already appointed co-ordinators in each assembly constituency that falls under a loksabha seat. These coordinators will be involved in coordinating the local leaders with the state leaders and to provide a report on what the party lacks and what its strong points are.
The coordinators will be involving in developing the party at the grass root levels and to scout for new talents for the party in the run upto the elections. Sources in the party told IANS that the coordinators have already started for new additions and deletions in the voters list. The Congress in Tamil Nadu is buoyed up by the results of the party in the neighbouring Karnataka.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress contested in Tiruvallur (SC), Krishnagiri, Arani, Karur, Tiruchirapalli, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Kanniyakumari, and Theni. Of this, the Congress won all eight seats and lost Theni.
In 2004, the BJP was on a high with the popularity of Atal Behari Vajpayee and the BJP was doing an ‘India Shining’ campaign.
The BJP lost the polls against a Congress which had limited resources and a very low spirit but Congress had struck on to the campaign centred around ‘Aam Admi’ or a common man street and it clicked.
While the conditions of 2004 and 2024 are far apart with a powerful leader like Narendra Modi at the helm of things with an eye for even the minutest details.
Modi has the ability to bounce back from adversities and with an all powerful persona, Narendra Modi will make sure that the campaigns are designed in such a manner that BJP comes back to power.
However, the heavy drubbing BJP faced in the recent Karnataka assembly elections is an indicator that the party, and for that matter, Narendra Modi is not invincible and hence, the opposition has found a cause for regrouping.
Coming back to Tamil Nadu, the opposition in the state is in shambles with the AIADMK having faced rebellion with a leader of the stature of a former Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam (OPS) expelled from the party.
The newly anointed general secretary of AIADMK, Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) has already written a letter to the Lok Sabha speaker, Om Birla that the Member of Parliament from Theni, O.P .Raveendranathan, son of OPS was not a member of AIADMK and hence he should not be counted in the party list.
After a former IPS officer of Karnataka cadre hailing from Tamil Nadu, K. Annamalai became the Tamil Nadu unit president of the BJP, differences cropped up with the AIADMK and the BJP. Senior leaders of the AIADMK including former minister, D. Jayakumar publicly came out against Annamalai who insisted on the supremacy of BJP.
This is an added advantage for the DMK and the Congress in Tamil Nadu and the Secular Progressive Alliance led by the DMK is far ahead of the opposition in Tamil Nadu and this would help the Congress win the polls in the state.