History repeated itself for Congress in Tamil Nadu on Monday when its senior leader G K Vasan broke away from the party to float a new outfit, an action his father G K Moopanar resorted to 17 years ago.
Blaming those who were entrusted with the affairs of Congress in Tamil Nadu for failing in their duty to strengthen the party, Vasan announced at a crowded press conference that he and his supporters have decided to resign from Congress.
“We are starting a new party. The name of the new party and its symbol would be announced soon at a rally to be held in Tiruchi shortly”, he said.
Vasan said the approach of AICC in Tamil Nadu was not satisfactory in achieving its goal which prompted him to resign from the party.
“To achieve the goal in Tamil Nadu, there should be a different direction, a different approach from AICC, which we are not satisfied. We are having a new path…. we feel it will be a victory path”, he said in stout defence of his new move.
The decision by Vasan to disassociate from Congress, brings to end to his 14-year-long association with the grand old party following the merger of Tamil Manila Congress floated by his father G K Moopanar.
Former Tamil Nadu unit Congress president B S Gnanadesikan, who resigned the party post last week was also present with Vasan.
Making his ambitions clear, Vasan said, “We want to lead, be the number one regional party and an alternative political party to Tamil Nadu people and we feel we can fulfil the vision of the late Kamaraj. We are going in the right direction.”
Promising a “new path,” he said the youth in Tamil Nadu are today looking for a new political culture, which his party was confident of fulfilling.
Democracy, secularism, inclusive growth, social justice, transparent and efficient governance would be the objectives of the new party.
Stressing that his outfit’s priority would be the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu, he said it would follow the path of late Congress leaders Kamaraj and his father G K Moopanar.
Asked why he was quitting Congress, Vasan said it was an “old story” and asserted that his new outfit would be able to achieve the “goals of the Congress party and we have faith.”
Asked if he saw a leadership crisis at the national level in Congress, he said, “Our worry is that Congress has not been in power for past 47 years in Tamil Nadu. Our idea is to strengthen our new outfit to prove that there is a strong support base for Congress”.
Asked if he was not requested to stay back in the party by the high command, he said “that goes without saying…yes how will they not do that,” but declined to elaborate further.
Stressing that a majority of Congress cadres were from the erstwhile Tamil Maanila Congress founded by his father, he said “he did his best for party without getting into factional wrangles…Even during the Lok Sabha elections I can proudly say that I was the only leader to campaign in all the constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.”
After over a decade with parent party after merging the erstwhile Tamil Maanila Congress in 2002, he said the party did not reflect the mood of cadres. “Party workers yearn for change,” he added.
Making no pretence on not contesting Lok Sabha elections, Vasan said, “I did not boast that I would have won if I had contested during the general elections this year.”
On his opinion on Rahul Gandhi, he said, “He is a national leader, he is a youngster, I wish him all the best.”
When asked if Rahul Gandhi would be able to steer the party, Vasan quipped, “I am in a different party now.”
He and his supporters will embark on a state-wide tour to prepare ground for party’s launch.