Blow before polls: Two Tamil Maanila Congress leaders join Congress

Chennai, April 14: In a repeat of what happened in DMDK which saw a split albeit minor, Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) leaders Peter Alphonse and P Viswanathan on Wednesday rejoined their parent party Congress.

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Peter Alphonse, former Rajya Sabha MP and MLA, and P Viswanathan, former Lok Sabha MP, joined Congress in the presence of national General Secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu, Mukul Wasnik, TNCC chief EVKS Elangovan and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram at party headquarters Satyamurthy Bhavan. [DMDK rebels to contest from their own seats]

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Welcoming the duo, Elangovan said a big victory was awaiting Congress and it has gained strength by Alphnose and Viswanathan joining it.

"A situation has now emerged in which Congress is a big party after the two big parties of Tamil Nadu (AIADMK and DMK)," he said.

Chidambaram said, "Congress party has to undertake a long journey. In order to achieve the (party) ideals, party functionaries should work unitedly."

Alphonse and Viswanathan lauded the Congress leadership in getting 41 seats for the party and said they will not contest the Assembly polls. Along with them, several of their supporters from TMC joined Congress.

Reacting to the development, TMC chief G K Vasan said "some may think of breaking strong parties, but their intention will not be fulfilled...If some individuals and 40-50 persons along with them quit TMC", it will not weaken the party.

"TMC does not need persons who weaken themselves by thinking that the grass is green on the other side of the fence."

Soon after TMC formally sided with DMDK-PWF combine, voice of dissent began in the party which today culminated in two senior leaders leaving its fold.


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