CHENNAI: K S Alagiri will complete four years as the president of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC), longest by any Congressman in the last couple of decades in the State.
In a national party riddled with factionalism, Alagiri having such a long tenure, and that too while overseeing a Parliamentary election, an Assembly election and two legs of local body elections in the state, is a remarkable feat.
His tenure would be remembered for the party suffering fewer internal squabbles, a notoriety the party is famous for going by its recent history. Amid rumours of the party's national high command contemplating a guard change at the TNCC helm for some time, Alagiri is steering the party through another poll -by election for Erode East constituency necessitated by the demise of the party MLA Thirumagan Everaa.
From shedding tears in exasperation among party workers at Sathyamurthy Bhavan after holding seat sharing talks with alliance leader DMK during the 2021 Assembly polls to declaring the party's candidature in Erode East without formal talks with Anna Arivalayam, Alagiri's tenure has seen the worst and best of the political scale in the four years.
A Gopanna, head of the media wing of the TNCC said, "The high point of his tenure would be the organisation of the six-day tour of Tamil Nadu by Rahul Gandhi and the launch of Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanniyakumari. The low point would be the clash at Sathyamurthy Bhavan between supporters of Alagiri and MLA Ruby Manoharan here recently."
"Alagiri had built the reputation of leading the TNCC without squabbles till the recent clash with Manoharan's supporters. Almost all state leaders who spoke at his recent birthday celebration lauded him for running the party without in-fighting," he added.
A Congress senior unwilling to be quoted said that Alagiri was indeed a non-controversial and senior leader who largely ran the party smoothly, but he cannot avoid the criticism that the party failed to match rival BJP in projecting itself among the state people politically. "Managing the party without controversies or smoothly is not sufficient. One needs to keep the party in the limelight constantly.
Remember, our rival is the BJP. More than growing the party in Tamil Nadu, the Congress should out-perform the BJP. That is our national agenda. Our fight is against the BJP at the national level. He should have done more against the BJP," said the senior leader.
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