KV Thangkabalu seeks protection for press meet
Chennai: The factional feud in Tamilnadu Congress was out in full force today when senior leader and former Union Minister K V Thangkabalu, facing the wrath of TNCC president E V K S Elangovan, sought police protection for his press meet in the city.
The press conference, whose venue was shifted at the last minute (from Hotel Woodlands to Hotel President, both on Radhakrishnan Salai) for undisclosed reasons, saw journalists running from one place to another in search of 'hot bytes' from Thangkabalu, as he came under severe criticism from Elangovan a couple of days ago.
In fact, the Congress veteran, too, was in a mood to hit back. But a gag order from the central leadership (Mukul Wasnik, national general secretary of Congress and in-charge of the party's affairs in Tamilnadu, to be precise), "stopped from him from doing so".
"I wanted to discuss various problems. But obeying the order of my superior, I am refraining from listing out everything," he said. However, reacting to Elangovan's challenge to disclose assets, he announced his readiness to prove his integrity. "I will co-operate with the law and I have not accumulated any black money," an unusually emotional Thangkabalu said.
While claiming himself as a philanthropist who had donated land for the building of a school in Salem, he denied malpractice in running his engineering college and that he had not collected any excess fees. "I am willing to give free seats for poor students," he said.
About the latest ruckus in the party, he attributed it to Elangovan's attitude and his "remarks" favouring singer and activist Kovan's lyrics that were strongly against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"In the name of freedom.of expression, he cannot trigger violence and hate speech against our party leader. Any Congressman with self-respect will not tolerate such things," he said.
"I am not greedy for any power or position. And I do not target for one through this meet. The meeting with Sonia was to strengthen our strategies in the upcoming election," Thangkabalu, said to have engineered the recent meeting of senior Congress leaders from the State with Sonia and Rahul in Delhi (where complaints were allegedly made against Elangovan), said. "Instead of appreciating this act, Elangovan has used foul language against us," he added.