Former Home Minister not to contest polls

It is to pave way for younger generation in the party to contest polls, says E. Valsaraj

Senior Congress leader and former Home Minister E. Valsaraj on Thursday announced his decision not to contest the Assembly poll.

Addressing a press conference at the Pradesh Congress Committee office here, the former Minister said his decision not to contest the poll was conveyed to the party high command way back in 2016 itself.

“It is not a sudden decision or anything to do with the present political situation in the Union Territory. I represented Mahe constituency for six consecutive terms till 2016. And after I failed to retain the seat in the 2016 election, I have informed my party leadership about the decision not to contest elections,” he said.

The decision was taken to pave way for younger generation in the party to contest polls, Mr. Valsaraj said adding he would continue to serve the party in different ways. The PCC a few days ago had appointed him as one of the vice-presidents, he further said.

Asked whether the Congress party got weakened after the recent resignations of top leaders, he said, “the Congress is a family and people come and go. Even when the Congress got weakened in Tamil Nadu, people of the Union Territory were with Congress. It is the largest party in the Union Territory and will continue to remain so.”

Mr. Valsaraj said he started his political career as a Youth Congress worker. “The party gave everything to me, and the present decision not to contest polls was only to make way for youngsters to contest. I have worked under former Chief Ministers P. Shanmugham, N. Rangasamy and V. Vaithilingam and was grateful to all of them for their support.”

Asked about his relationship with Mr. Rangasamy, the four-time Minister said, “I share good friendship with him, but the relationship is apart from politics.”

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