Congress not wrong to offer LTTE loyalist ticket to contest TN polls

Infighting has broken out over the candidature of Selvaperunthagai from the Sriperumbudur constituency.

 |  2-minute read |   29-04-2016
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Opportunism, thy name is politics. The Congress versus Congress battle that is being played out over the candidature of Selvaperunthagai from the Sriperumbudur Assembly constituency falls in that category.

D Yashoda, who has represented Sriperumbudur four times in the past in 1980, 1984, 2001 and 2006 has raised a stink over the candidature of Selva, accusing him of being a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supporter.

She asks how the Congress of all parties can field Selva, who was with the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), a pro-LTTE party, in Sriperumbudur where former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber in 1991.

Sriperumbudur, a reserved constituency, for much of its time has stayed with the Congress. Though the AIADMK won it in 2011, the Congress fancies its chances this time around. Till this infighting broke out and Yashoda decided to wash dirty linen in public.

Selva says too much is made of his VCK past, saying it is being used by Yashoda to target him. He was an MLA of the VCK-AIADMK alliance in 2006.

rajiv-gandhi_042916074057.jpg Former PM Rajiv Gandhi who belonged to Congress' first family was killed by the LTTE at Sriperumbudur. 

Let us look at the facts. It is true that VCK is an out-and-out pro-LTTE outfit. Its leadership even wrote to the Centre requesting it to lift the ban on LTTE. The party has never made bones about its support to the Tamil Eelam.

The Congress now says Yashoda should have raised these objections earlier instead of now when campaigning for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state is going on. But even if she had, would the Congress have changed its mind and not given the ticket to Selva, who it thinks is a winning horse? To my mind, no.

Because the Congress thought nothing of allying with the VCK in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and 2011 Assembly polls. If allying with the VCK itself was not a problem for the Congress, why would it mind giving a ticket to an ex-VCK leader, who has been with the Congress since 2010.

The Congress also allied with Vaiko's MDMK in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. Again, Vaiko has never hid its pro-Prabhakaran (slain LTTE chief) leanings. Yashoda should have done her homework before raising a stink. But what Yashoda, by protesting, has managed to do, is to create a flutter and doubts among the people if they should vote for someone who had at one point of time leaned towards the LTTE.

If Selva does not manage to win Sriperumbudur, Yashoda may have succeeded in her limited mission.


TS Sudhir TS Sudhir @iamtssudhir

The writer is a journalist.

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