Oppn grows against Karti Chidambaram; Cong faction passes resolution against his Lok Sabha ticket

Reportedly, DMK is also not keen on supporting Karti Chidambaram

Karti Chidambaram (File) Karti Chidambaram gesturing to his supporters outside the court in Delhi | PTI

A faction of the Congress party in Sivaganga has decided not to nominate Karti P. Chidambaram as their candidate in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. The resolution was passed in a meeting led by former union minister E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan on Sunday.

“The meeting was actually convened to discuss appointing booth agents and carrying out the election work,” said Natchiappan. He also says that the support for Congress in the region has come down in the recent past with most of them switching over to other parties. “Our own Congressmen have joined the BJP in Sivaganga. Karti did not keep the flock together.”

However, top party sources say the seat has been reserved for Karti, even when there is opposition. There was opposition in 2014 and again in 2019. The same Sudarsana Natchiappan and the Congressmen in Sivaganga were against Karti contesting the polls. It was even said that Karti was not capable of winning as he lost his deposit in 2014. But Karti won with a huge margin against BJP’s H. Raja, who was in alliance with the AIADMK. 

This time, the opposition to Karti’s candidature has got much more strength with a resolution being passed during a meeting in the district on Sunday. Sources close to Natchiappan in the Sivaganga Congress unit said that even the DMK is against giving a ticket to Karti in the ensuing polls.

Natchiappan apparently left for Delhi to meet the top Congress leaders after the meeting. Speaking to THE WEEK, Natchiappan clarified saying, “It was not my decision. A large crowd turned up against Karti and demanded that a resolution be passed against him.” He said the resolution against Karti was because of his comment against Rahul’s stature compared to Narendra Modi. Recently, during a TV interview, Karti said that “nobody is a match for Modi, not even Rahul Gandhi”.

Though Natchiappan had opposed Karti in the past, in 2014 and 2019, he later accepted Karti’s candidacy. Over the past five years, the electorate and the political nuances in Sivaganga have changed. While there is strong opposition to Karti even from his own supporters, the DMK too is not keen on supporting him, say sources. 

According to highly placed sources in the DMK, the Sivaganga party unit has opposed Karti’s candidature. On the other hand, senior DMK leaders like Raja Kannappan and Periya Karuppan, who have a stronghold in the region are looking for tickets for their sons. “If Karti vacates the seat, it will not be for the Congress. We will retain it,” says a DMK functionary from Karaikudi, which falls under the Sivaganga constituency. 

Meanwhile, members of Karti’s team are confident that he will be able to retain the seat. “Does Natchiappan even have a vote in the constituency?” asked one of Karti’s supporters. Karti refused to comment on why there is so much opposition to his candidacy. “You should only ask them,” he replied. 

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