Former Union minister GK Vasan on Friday formally launched his new political party Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar), billing it as a departure from the traditional high command culture followed in his erstwhile Congress and flaying its style of functioning.
Addressing a well-attended rally, organised to mark the birth of the new regional party, a virtual revival of the TMC founded by his father G K Moopanar over a decade ago, he expressed regret for merging it with the Congress, remarking “it did not yield any result for people of Tamil Nadu”.
Moopanar rebelled against Congress in 1996 protesting against its alliance with AIADMK and floated TMC, but Vasan merged it with Congress in 2002 after his father’s death.
“You don’t need to wait for high command leaders (for decisions). There is no need to be angry over (central) observers not concerned about the party. There is no need to wait in airport for leaders who do not understand the problems of people of the state,” he lashed out at the Congress, but did not target any leader including the top leadership.
Vasan had quit Congress on November 3 alleging that the state units were being ignored by the high command and poor management of party affairs by some of the top leaders at Delhi. He had then announced he would float a new regional party that would “fulfil the aspirations” of people of Tamil Nadu.
Hinting that the hardworking partymen were not rewarded aptly in Congress by virtue of a quota system, Vasan assured his supporters that he will be “one in your family who will share your joy and sorrow”, and pledged to meet supporters in every part of the state.
Recalling TMC’s merger with Congress in 2002, Vasan said this effort was mainly done to strengthen the latter in its bid to ensure a secular government at the Centre and that there were no selfish motives for it.
However, the merger did not yield desired results as Congress became more Delhi-centric in its approach laying emphasis to save its government and in the process ignored regional units, he charged.
These developments led to Congress’ ‘traditional votebank’ in Tamil Nadu sinking to a larger extent, he claimed.
However, with his relaunching of TMC “by our supporters and the people of Tamil Nadu, for the people”, he said it will work for all sections including for protecting secularism, economic inclusion and strive towards the ‘Kamaraj rule,’ a term often used by Congressmen to recall the golden days of the veteran leader as chief minister of the state.
He promised that his party will be a state outfit with a national outlook.
Even though state Assembly Elections are about 18 months away, Vasan held out several assurances saying if the party came to power it would ensure interest free credit to farmers and poor, besides remunerative prices for agricultural produce.
The interest of the state on water sharing issues and Tamil fishermen who are subjected to harassment by Sri Lankan authorities would be on top of the party’s agenda, he said.
The party workers presented a silver mace and sword to Vasan on the occasion.