Chennai: In a sudden development, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC)president B S Gnanadesikan, a loyalist of former Union Minister G K Vasan, resigned from his post today, complaining that he was ignored.
“Yes, I have sent my resignation to party president Madam (Sonia) Gandhi,” Gnanadesikan told PTI after helming the state party unit for three years.
Asked why he chose to quit, he said “I am not comfortable..there are several reasons.” For the past one month, he had been given to understand that “the president of Tamil Nadu unit is set to be changed.”
“The high command did nothing to stop such talk. I was not consulted on issues. I value self-respect. I do not want to be a puppet,” he said.
Declining to elaborate more on his grievances, he said he had given his very best for the party during his tenure.
In his resignation letter, addressed to Sonia Gandhi, he said “to enable you to reconstitute the Pradesh Congress Committee without any hindrance, I am offering my resignation as president of the TNCC..kindly accept the same.”
He thanked Sonia Gandhi and party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi for giving him an opportunity to serve the party.
“I tried my level best to bring unity in the party and conducted several meetings and district tours, Parliamentary review committee meetings apart from meetings in the party headquarters,” he said in the letter.
Soon after the Lok Sabha polls, in which the party drew a blank, Congress leaders, including Karti P Chidambaram, son of former union minister P Chidambaram, K S Alagiri and Vallalperuman, demanded the resignation of Gnanadesikan blaming him for the party's poor performance.
Gnanadesikan's supporters hit back and alleged that Chidambaram “failed to rein in price rise” which was an important reason for the party's debacle at national level.
Senior leader G K Vasan said that such issues must be discussed only within the party.
Chidambaram faction, however, continued to ignore meetings convened by TNCC President including the one convened on June 7 to look into the party's performance and take corrective measures.
Also, Chidambaram did not participate in a function on September 30 to unveil the statues of Congress icons Kamaraj and Sathyamurthi in which Kerala Chief Minister Ooman Chandy and Mallikarjun Kharge participated.
Party sources indicated that Gnandesikan had a “tough time” with Mukul Wasnik, the party in-charge for Tamil Nadu. “Wasnik never used to listen or consult Pradesh Congress president,” a TNCC leader declining to be named said.