"Price rise and inflation is considered as an important reason for the defeat of Congress. Everyone knows who was the Finance Minister (during Congress-led UPA)," senior Congress functionaries, including Kovai Thangam, Royapuram Mano and N Rangabashyam alleged in a statement here.
They are loyalists of senior Congress leaders in Tamil Nadu including G K Vasan, E V K S Elangovan and Gnanadesikan. Describing the demand for Gnandesikan's ouster and going to the media by Chidambaram's supporters a "big blunder", they said it had weakened the party.
Chidambaram "hastily" announced creation of Telangana and led Andhra Pradesh's bifurcation which "wiped out" Congress in the region which was (till then) powerful there, they alleged. Questioning the rationale behind the demand for TNCC chief's resignation, the Congress leaders said Chidambaram's supporters could have either taken up their demand with the party high command or discussed it at a party meet scheduled for June 7.
Asking if Chidambaram was prepared to spell out the steps he had taken for the party's overall victory, the rival leaders faulted him for "not going anywhere for campaign" except Sivaganga where his son Karti Chidambaram unsuccessfully contested.
Yesterday, Karti, former MP K S Alagiri and several other loyalists of the former Finance Minister alleged the party was handed down "an unexpected defeat", with its vote share dropping to a mere 4.31 per cent, as the state leadership had not been "functioning properly".
"The state president is responsible for the defeat. For Congress to gain foothold once again in the state, party workers are expecting a vibrant leadership. Therefore, taking full responsibility for the defeat, Gnanadesikan should quit as TNCC president," the statement, signed by former MP Vallalperumal, South Chennai District Secretary 'Karate' R Thiagarajan and Executive Member R S Senthil Kumar said.