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|October 10, 1999||
Congress blames Jaya for TN debacle
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee General Secretary K Sakthivel today said the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief J Jayalalitha's arbitrary and condescending approach on seat-sharing and campaigning had led to the AIADMK-Congress front's electoral defeat in Tamil Nadu.
In a statement in Madras, countering Jayalalitha for blaming the Congress for the front's electoral debacle, he said the AIADMK had allotted to the Congress seats it found difficult to win.
Also, she had launched her campaign even before the AIADMK's allies could release their poll manifestos and name their candidates, he added.
Jayalalitha's decision to field a few persons tainted by corruption charges as AIADMK candidates, he said had provided fodder to the media campaign against the front.
In her campaign, Jayalalitha did not utter a word about the Congress leadership, but had portrayed the election as a personal battle between her and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Saktivel said.
Jayalalitha's boycott of the Villupuram campaign meeting addressed by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he said had created a negative impact on the people which the Congress found difficult to erase.
Sakthivel charged the AIADMK leadership with sabotaging the chances of some Congress candidates. Former Union minister R Prabhu would have won had the AIADMK cadres worked harder in Nilgiris, he felt.
If Jayalalitha had taken part at the Villupuram meeting addressed by Sonia, the TNCC president Tindivanam K Ramamurthy would have won, he added.
Referring to Jayalalitha's remark that the Congress' failure to name a prime ministerial candidate was a mistake, Sakthivel said the Congress had approached the election on the basis of its principles and not on the strength of personalities.
It has been the Congress' practice to elect the leader of its parliamentary wing after the polls, he added.
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