Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cong retains most MLAs for Tamil Nadu elections


NEW DELHI: Congress has retained most MLAs to fight the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. Congress president Sonia Gandhi , who had insisted that party seniors who have served more than two terms in the assembly should make way for the younger lot, played it safe after she sensed that trouble was brewing in the state unit. 

Had this logic been followed, MLAs like Peter Alphonse, Ramasamy, C Gnanasekaran and D Yasodha would not have got another chance. Other prominent names in the list of 60 candidates released on Wednesday include All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary and MLA K Jayakkumar and former Union Minister S Thirunavukarasur. 

The latter was with AIADMK and BJP before joining Congress . Only five MLAs whose constituencies saw a major change during delimitation have been left out of the list. The party, which is contesting 63 seats in the April 13 Assembly elections, has still not announced candidates for Poonamalee , Tirupur South and Ramanathapuram . At least six women have been given tickets including Gayathri Devi, D Yashodha , Haseena Syed, Jothi Mani and S Vijayadharani apart from Jayanthi Thangabalu. 

Despite a rebellion within its ranks against state unit president K Thangkabalu , Congress seems to have accommodated his candidates, including his wife, in the list. Interestingly, Congress has favoured Thangkabalu's wife, Jayanthi, in Mylapore constituency over MLA S Ve Shekher. 

Shekher was elected as an AIADMK nominee in 2006 Assembly elections but was expelled for alleged anti-party activities . After joining Congress, he was hoping for a ticket from Mylapore. Congress has been allotted five of 16 seats in Chennai out of the 63 earmarked for it under the seat-sharing deal. 

In the last elections, Congress was allotted 48 seats. In 2006, when Chennai had only 14 seats, Congress was given RK Nagar, where it lost. Central Election Committee had almost finalised the list of candidates in its Monday meeting. However, Congress MPs rejected the selection process. Six of the eight Lok Sabha MPs met the Congress president on Tuesday and formally lodged their protest. 

They accused Thangkabalu of ignoring winnable candidates and pushing through his own list. Members even indicated that they would not campaign for the party if Thangkabalu's list is not reviewed. The central committee was forced to sit all over again on Tuesday and review the list. Finally, Congress played it safe and gave most MLAs another chance


An urgent press meet was called at 7.30 pm at Press Club in Chennai on Wednesday 23 March. Mr.P.Abdul Khader,President ( Tamil Nadu) Federation of Muslim Women Society (FeMWAS) had a bitter cry that out of the 60 named declared as candidates to contest  forthcoming poll, Assembly Election in Tamil Nadu  the the name of Mr.S.M.Hidyathullah does not  feature the manifest.

Yet, the total congress contestants in Tamil Nadu 63, the rest three names have not been cleared so far.  The great news is that a single  Muslim seat has been set aside to contest from Ramanathapuram constituency; in other words it should have been five,for Muslims to contest in different regions from Tamil Nadu, according to Mr.P.Abdul Khadir.

“On behalf of 32 districts of Muslim Women Aid Society,  and FeMWAS, I do hereby request Madam Sonia Gandhi,Chairperson the Congress to immediately consider Mr.S.M.Hidaythullah, a devout congress man past 40 years,from the beginning of his college life, who has been in good books of great leaders such as Kamaraj, Moopanar, and other eminent peronalities” said Mr.Khader.

Mr.Hidayathullah who hails from Ramnad,has been retaining the respect and love from all the communities, and the chances of winning from the constituency is sure fact.

“Till forenoon in the circles of Congress High Command in New Delhi, the name of Mr. S.M.Hidayathaulla seemed surfacing to be very optimistic, and Mr.Hidayathullah returned back to Chennai with content heart. But an abrupt  "U" turn has been in hush,  and in silence of Congress from New Delhi, on  Mr.Hidayathullah, causing  worry” said Khader.

“Let not such thing happen, and  S.M.Hidayathullah's name if  neglected, it would be a short on our arms” he said.

“As Muslim minority, we have great regard for  Madam Sonia in the centre, and the chief Minister Kalaignar, in Tamil Nadu.

“We have great apprehension that some mistake ought not to happen to dislodge Mr.S.M.Hidayathullah, an aspiring contestant from Ramnad Constituency” concluded Mr.Khader.