Former Congressman G K Vasan revives Tamil Maanila Congress

Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu):Over a decade after its merger with parent party, G K Moopanar founded Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) was today revived by his son and former Union Minister G K Vasan, weeks after he quit the Congress.

"Our aim is to ensure a prosperous Tamil Nadu and a strong India. And to achieve this aim, and with the blessings of (veteran leader late K) Kamaraj, we are today reviving Tamil Maanila Congress founded by Moopanar," he declared emphatically at a public rally here.

"From this moment, our movement will be called Tamil Maanila Congress and we shall be friends of Tamil people and serve them," Vasan said in his brief address formally launching his new regional party at the rally in the G Corner grounds here, which was well attended by his supporters. The party is trying to secure the 'Bicycle' symbol, one that was allotted to TMC when Moopanar founded it.

In 1996, Moopanar, one of the tallest leaders of the Congress, severed links with the party protesting against it's alliance with AIADMK and launched the TMC, which was merged with the Congress party in 2002.

Interestingly after about 18 years, his son Vasan has taken the same course, dumping the Congress with which he was associated for more than a decade and enjoyed power in both UPA I and II regimes.

Vasan had quit Congress on November 3 alleging that the state units were being ignored by the Congress 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.

In 1996, TMC fought the assembly polls in alliance with DMK and the combine with the backing of Tamil cinema star Rajnikanth, swept the elections. It tasted success in Parliament polls too.

Now the TMC has taken birth ahead of the assembly polls, due in 2016. Heavy rains lashing Tiruchirapalli abated late in the afternoon, much to the relief of the organisers of the rally which commenced late with Vasan unfurling the party flag -- sporting orange, white and green similar to that of national tricolour and Congress party's, with portraits of Moopanar and Kamaraj embossed in the middle.

Many of Congress leaders in the state including former MPs B S Gnanadesikan, Viswanathan and N S V Chithan, MLAs N R Rangarajan and John Jacob besides former legislators like Peter Alphonse and C Gnanasekaran were present on the occasion.

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