Chennai, Nov. 21: The appointment of G.K. Vasan as the new Tamil Nadu Congress chief and Najma Heptullah’s hour-long meeting with Jayalalithaa today suggests that new political alignments are being considered ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha election.
Within minutes of his appointment, Vasan, son of late Congress veteran G.K. Moopanar, said the party should maintain an equal distance from the ADMK and the DMK.
Vasan’s predecessor, working president E.V.K.S. Elangovan, was considered pro-DMK. The perception that the party was moving “too close to the DMK” while it is still part of the National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre and has made no commitment to the Congress, is believed to have contributed to Elangovan’s removal.
As if to signal the state Congress’ determination to maintain an “equidistance”, Vasan called for Jayalalithaa to quit following the Supreme Court order to transfer the disproportionate asset cases to Karnataka.
Rajya Sabha vice-chairperson and senior party leader Heptullah’s meeting with the chief minister at her Poes Garden residence today is believed to be a signal that the Congress is keeping its options open and wants to “stand on its own feet” in the state.
The elevation of Vasan, who led the Tamil Maanila Congress back into the parent party in August last year, will also put an end to the “dual leadership” experiment in the state unit.